Better Place, Denmark’s DSB Strike Deal for Eco-Techno-Utopian Transit

Electric car infrastructure startup Better Place and Danish rail operator DSB have a vision to link electric vehicles, car sharing networks, trains and mobile devices into one high-tech, eco-utopian transportation system in Denmark. The duo has just announced an agreement to install charging stations for electric vehicles at “a number of major Danish train stations,” and provide an electric car sharing service at Denmark’s main commuter stations so train passengers can pick up a plug-in for the next leg of their trip.

According to the release from state-owned DSB, customers will be able to book train tickets and reserve seats and vehicles via the web, and eventually via handheld devices. How the project will be financed, whether commuters will buy into it and whether the two companies can make the economics work at large scale remain to be seen (we’ve asked Better Place for details).

But the project could serve as a laboratory for integrating Car 2.0 technologies (in which vehicles are connected to the power grid as well as communication networks) into a much greener transportation system for the digital age — because it’s about mobility, with mass transit, shared cars (and hopefully biking or walking), rather than personal vehicles.

DSB and Better Place plan to set up a pilot project next year with electric car sharing and charge spots (available for private vehicles as well as shared cars) at the Høje-Taastrup and Skanderborg train stations, and will evaluate the possibility of expanding the network to “several of the largest commuter stations” in 2012.


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