Scarcely a week goes by in Denmark, it seems, without news of a new player pitching in for a share of the coming electric vehicle (EV) market. Ever since the announcement by Shai Agassi's Project Better Place in March 2008 that it had chosen Denmark as its European roll-out country, auto manufacturers from every corner of the world have been queuing up to launch EVs here.
But it all began with Better Place, which has partnered with the country's leading energy concern DONG Energy. Now the latest twist in the tale is that the two main minority shareholders in DONG Energy – Sydenergi and Seas-Nve – have announced their own EV initiative in Denmark in collaboration with the German car rental giant Sixt. Financial daily newspaper Børsen reports the news.
The three players have established the company ChoosEV, which from December this year will be offering an EV package solution to fleet owners. ChoosEV is eschewing Better Place's infrastructural concept of nationwide battery switch stations, which it considers too complicated, in favour of simple charging stands. Sydenergi's managing director Niels Duedahl told Børsen:
"We aren't going to build a whole new infrastructure costing billions. We believe that it's important to quickly get electric cars into widespread use, and we can build our charging stands a lot faster than Better Place can establish their expensive battery [shift] stations."
Regular readers of our news will already know that Sixt, one of the world's largest care rental firms, started its own EV initiative in Denmark at the start of September when it launched an electric conversion of the Citroën C1. Now Sixt has opted to team up with Danish players in an EV market which no doubt has plenty of surprises still to come. Watch this space.