Ron Huldai is not waiting for Shai Agassi. Coulomb Technologies, Better Place’s competitor in US, reaches agreement in principle with city of Tel Aviv. City official: We won’t allow issue of charging electric cars to become monopoly

Sharon Baider
Published: 05.10.10, 07:48 / Israel Business

Owners of electric cars and motorbikes will be able to charge their vehicles at charging stations placed throughout Tel Aviv by next year. The charging stations will be provided by US company, Coulomb Technologies, which is the main US competitor for Shai Agassi’s Better Place, Calcalist learned.

Coulomb Technologies recently reached an agreement in principle with Tel Aviv Municipality by which 50 charge stations will be installed throughout the city by next year.

The company’s charging stations are compatible with electric cars fitted with a regular electrical outlet, such as Mitsubishi iMiEV cars and Vectrix scooters, unlike Better Place’s charging stations, which are only compatible with proprietary outlets.

Tel Aviv Municipality reported, “Coulomb’s request was positively reviewed by the relevant officials in the municipality.”

Last year, the city of Tel Aviv signed a agreements with Better Place by which the Israeli company would set up dozens of charging stations throughout the city. However, according to a source in the municipality, “We will not allow the issue of charging electric vehicles to become a monopoly. Tel Aviv Municipality will gladly promote any project related to green transportation with no connection to one company or another.”

Coulomb Technologies specializes in electric vehicle charging stations and is one of the prominent companies in the field worldwide. Coulomb is considered Better Place’s main competitor in the US automotive market.

Coulomb’s charging stations are set up in main cities in the US, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Poland, and Norway. In Europe, the company launched an enterprise by which new charging stations would be set up in accordance with user requests of preferred locations they indicate on the company’s web portal.

The company’s charging stations are connected to a control network that can be accessed from user’s computers or smartphones in order to receive updates on vehicle charge status, billing information, and nearby unoccupied charging stations.

Coulumb is currently working on receiving Israeli authorization to install charging stations. Once the go-ahead is received, the company will start installing charging stations throughout Tel Aviv.