Mike Stevens | Dec 2, 2009

ELECTRIC VEHICLE SERVICES provider Better Place Australia announced this week that it has secured $25 million in an initial round of funding.

The funding will be used in the development of BPA's planned charging network in Canberra, slated to be in operation by 2011.

Better Place Australia representatives said the funding is the first step in plans to raise $1 billion in the next five years, which will allow the company to expand its charging network around Australia.

Better Place’s investment in Canberra will include the installation of charging points in homes, offices, shopping centres and other car parks, where EV owners will be able to plug their vehicles in to be charged.

“Battery Swap Stations” will also be built, allowing rushed drivers to swap their depleted lithium-ion battery for a fully-charged one.

The $25 million in funding is expected to finance planning, engineering and trial activities in the lead-up to the first stage of Canberra's electric vehicle charging network.

“The investment marks our second successful financing in 2009, and we believe it’s indicative of growing interest in Better Place from institutions and far-sighted corporations seeking thematic investment opportunities to fight climate change,” Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place said in a statement.

Lend Lease Ventures led the initial funding round, which included investments by ActewAGL and several private investors.

Better Place Australia and the University of Melbourne announced together in August that the two organisations would work together to develop projects aimed at accelerating Australia's adoption of electric vehicles.

A recent TMR poll showed that 44 percent of the poll's 1009 respondents would consider the purchase of an electric car if priced competitively.

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+