US firm Better Place will join forces with the University of Melbourne to assist in research leading up to the debut of electric cars in Australia.

The company has signed an agreement with the University, under which it will invest in research projects and a possible exchange of its smart-metering recharge points or swap-and-go battery exchange stations.

The research will determine if the country’s electricity infrastructure is good enough to handle the mass adoption of electric cars.

The issues include optimisation of battery performance, the environmental impact of electric cars, battery technology and even the implications of near-silent cars on pedestrian traffic.

Better Place Australia chief executive Evan Thornley said that Australia is set to be the third country after Israel and Denmark to show interest in the company’s recharging technology.

The University plans to add electric cars to its fleet once they enter commercial service as part of its goal to halve its greenhouse impact over the next two years.