In just a few years, Aussies will be driving to and fro in electric vehicles, plugging in to a grid powered entirely by renewable energy. At least, that’s the goal of California-based startup Better Place, which is heading Down Under to put its ambitious vision for an electric-car future into action. Some $671 million, raised with the help of Macquarie Capital Group, will put in place hundreds of thousands of charging and battery-swap stations by 2012; utility AGL Energy has pledged to expand capacity to power the electric-car grid with 100 percent renewable energy. Better Place founder Shai Agassi, who is already testing his infrastructure model in Israel and Denmark, says he can easily see the scheme to hook up Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney replicated for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Declares Agassi, “[W]e believe that Australia could be a demonstration project and proof-point for the U.S., as well as the U.K. and the rest of the developed world.”