Melbourne, Australia – Australian sustainable transportation company Better Place has announced agreements with AGL Energy and Macquarie Capital Group to raise AUD$1 billion and beGIN deploying an electric vehicle (EV) network powered by renewable energy. With the world’s seventh-highest per capita rate of car ownership, Australia has nearly 15 million cars on the road.

Better Place will use its scalable model, which Israel and Denmark have adopted, to build the EV network in Australia. Macquarie will assist in business development and fundraising, while AGL will provide electricity from renewable sources to power the cars.

“As the world’s sixth-largest country, our network build out in Australia will demonstrate that the Better Place model works in all countries, regardless of size,” said Shai Agassi, Better Place CEO and founder. “We are investing in Australia’s economy and adding jobs while helping the country take a generational leap forward toward oil independence. With our commitment to build infrastructure and the federal government’s $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund, there is a compelling case for automobile manufacturers to jump in and build clean, safe, affordable electric cars for Australasia and Southeast Asia.”

Better Place has an existing partnership with The Renault-Nissan Alliance, and expects the first mass market EV models to be available in Australia by the 2012 model year, a year after the mass market launch in Israel and Denmark.

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