The easiest battery-swapping station we've laid eyes on was unveiled at the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) in Los Angeles this week, but it's not for cars.

The Bat'Lib system, developed by DBT and Matra, is a cabinet (on rolling wheels, for some reason) that holds and charges nine batteries – you can see there are ten slots, but one is always kept open to receive discharged packs, so you have to return a pack to get a new one. These packs, roughly the size of a loaf of bread and weighing 16 pounds, can be exchanged for a depleted pack in seconds, providing easy "endless" range in the electric scooters that are designed to use them. In the e-scooter on display in LA (a Matra e-MO XP, we think), the battery slipped into the seat column, and it certainly did look ridiculously easy to exchange one pack for another.

The removeable batteries, built by Chicago-based AllCell Technologies, hold 1.125 kWh of energy and can be recharged up to 1,800 times. The swapping station can use either 110- or 220-volt electric outlets and uses a contactless card reader to accept payment and open and lock the charge bay doors. According to press materials distributed at EVS26, the Bat'lib system could come to scooters in Europe (Matra brand) and Asia (E-Ton and Tajima) later in 2012, but Matra MS president said in a statment that, "The Light Electric Vehicle Market today is leading the global EV market. Two wheelers will continue to play a major role in solving city congestion in US and European markets for years to come," so we'll be on the lookout for these all over the place.
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European e-mobility leaders DBT and Matra showcase battery swapping station for electric bikes and scooters at EVS26 from May 6th-9th in Los Angeles

DBT CEV, one of the largest electric vehicle charging infrastructure firms in Europe, and Matra, a leading manufacturer of Light Electric Vehicles will introduce today at the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) press conference a unique solution in e-mobility : the Bat'Lib system, an innovative battery swapping station for e-bikes and e-scooters.

The Bat'Lib station allows a user to exchange an empty battery for a full one in less than 10 seconds rather than waiting a few hours for the empty battery to recharge. This intuitive and simple-to-use system eliminates one of the major barriers to electric vehicle use-recharging time-and is ideally suited for electric bike and scooter commercial fleet owners, tour companies, and vehicle sharing programs. Bat'Lib also enables the development of a variety of new business models for renting or leasing batteries and charging services separately from the vehicle purchase.

The Bat'Lib swapping station features ten battery charging ports and its small footprint minimizes space requirements. One port is always kept open to accept a new empty battery while the remaining ports can simultaneously charge nine batteries. The system can be limited to registered users through an RFID system. Upon arrival, the driver removes the empty battery from the vehicle, swipes the RFID card, and inserts the empty battery into the open port. Upon receiving the empty battery, the Bat'Lib immediately opens the door for one of the fully-charged batteries which is ready for immediate use.

The Matra-designed battery pack is built by Chicago-based AllCell Technologies and utilizes AllCell's proprietary passive thermal management technology, which increases energy density, enhances safety, and dramatically extends battery cycle life.

The two-wheeler swapping station will support the proliferation of new urban mobility solutions in parallel to the current growing selection of electric and plug-in electric cars in the US. By tailoring new charging infrastructure to urban transportation needs, DBT and Matra have created a practical solution for users looking for an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative for their transportation needs.

Hervé Borgoltz, President of DBT CEV, states: "After several successful collaborations within the field of innovative EV charging with Matra, we believe that we needed to address all electric mobility needs, not only focusing on charging solutions for the electric car driver but also for users willing to make a difference at the local level with smaller vehicles. Thanks to this joint project with Matra, DBT CEV is able to offer a truly comprehensive portfolio of innovative charging solutions."

Jacques Bonneville, President of Matra MS, states: "The Light Electric Vehicle Market today is leading the global EV market. Two wheelers will continue to play a major role in solving city congestion in US and European markets for years to come. DBT's expertise in EV charging and Matra's advanced batteries and vehicles will allow efficient and affordable mobility solutions for fleets and resorts."

In addition to the Bat'Lib swapping station for e-scooters and e-bikes, European EV charging leader DBT will be exhibiting a full set of innovative charging infrastructure solutions at booth #1246 during EVS26 from May 6th to May 9th 2012 in Los Angeles (CA).

About DBT: DBT is an engineering company specialized in Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure solutions. DBT has been designing, developing and manufacturing a wide range of EV charging stations since 1992, with six thousand charging points installed in more than twenty countries worldwide. A world-renown leader in e-mobility solutions, DBT has developed a portfolio of customized EV charging solutions for home, public and fleet applications. The company has recently been chosen by Japanese automaker Nissan to deploy a network of 400 Quick Chargers in Europe by 2012. For information about DBT, please visit www.dbtcev.com (Twitter: @dbtcev) or www.dbtus.com (Twitter: @dbtusa).

About Matra: Building upon significant accomplishments over forty years in the European automotive industry, namely in racing (1964-1974), sport utility vehicles (1964-1982) and minivans (1983-2003), Matra, a wholly-owned company of Group Lagardere, offers a comprehensive range of vehicles adapted for all short distance use, from two to four wheels, including bicycles, scooters and electric quadricycles. For information about Matra, please visit www.matra.com.


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