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After Better Place launched a couple of years ago, it quickly announced a partnership with the Renault-Nissan alliance for a network of charging and battery exchange stations in Israel and, later, Denmark. These were to be used by electric cars from the Franco-Japanese automakers. Since then, Nissan and Renault have announced a number of cooperative agreements with various governments and utilities around the world to support the build out of a charging infrastructure. Better Place and its battery swap plans have been noticeably absent from most of those announcements. Aside from the recent video demonstration of a battery exchange, no other automaker has expressed interest in the concept.

Better Place is apparently now talking with Fiat since its link up with Chrysler. Chrysler is in the advanced stages of development of several electric vehicles and Better Place would apparently like to sign them up. However, Lou Rhodes, the president of ENVI, the group within Chrysler developing the electric vehicles does not see battery exchange as viable in the near term, because battery technology is still changing too quickly to standardize anything.

Better Place may want to focus on just building networks of public charging stations and shelve the exchange stations for now until battery technology does stabilize. Thanks to Sam (a different one) for the tip!

[Source: Globes.Co.Il]

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