San Francisco Bay Area officials have introduced a $1 billion public-private partnership to install electric car recharging stations and battery swapping centers across the area’s highway system, an investment they hope will transform the region into the U.S.’s electric car capital. By 2012, the PaloAlto-based company Better Place ”“ with support from local governments leaders ”“ plans to begin installing stations in homes, businesses, government buildings and parking lots. In addition, the company will create mechanized battery swapping centers that would allow drivers to travel longer distances without having to recharge. While it would be the first such electric car network in the United States, Better Place has already built similar infrastructure in Israel, Denmark and Australia. During an unveiling in San Francisco, local officials vowed to help streamline the permitting process and create incentives for businesses that use the system. “Our goal is to make the Bay Area ”“ and eventually California ”“ the electric vehicle capital of the world,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.