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Station Helps Automaker Gain California ZEV Credits

Tesla Motors' California battery-swapping station remains under 'pilot-program' status.

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Half-off on electric vehicles that can go about three-quarters range on a single charge? That's more or less what the new owner of Better Place's battery-switching and EV-charging network in Israel is proposing for a bunch of Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles that it has to get off of its hands. Gnrgy, which now owns the used cars as well as the network (car-importer Carasso Motors and Renault bought the new vehicles), is offering the used Renaults for between $14,000 and $17,000. That's about a 50-

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Tennyson said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but when it comes to affection towards the dearly departed Better Place battery-swapping technology, Israeli and Danish drivers of plug-in vehicles may beg to differ. Those two countries were the first markets for the company, which went out of business in May after burning through about $850 million over a five-year period. And now, drivers in those countries say the plug-in vehicle movement has been set fur

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Turns out, there is a quick way to get a lot of free publicity for your electric car company. Take the biggest name in leaks and apply it to you plug-in vehicles. That's the idea behind Chinese electric car technology company Hong Yuan Lan Xiang's (HYLX) new tradmark registration application. The name in question? Snowden. Yes, Edward Snowden.

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Tomorrow, we will get a fresh glimpse into the financial situation over at Tesla Motors. That's when the California automaker, always ready to go its own way and not release monthly sale figures, will discuss its second-quarter SEC filing. From what we've been told, it won't be as rosy at three months ago. In early May, when Tesla announced Q1 results and said it had made its first-ever quarterly profit, it warned that the second quarter results would not be as good. Specifically, the company sa

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As Tesla Motors showed last month, it takes as little as 90 seconds to swap out a battery on a Model S electric vehicle. Unfortunately for the California-based automaker, it could take as little as 90 days for the state to shelve a law that made such battery-swapping capabilities a profitable exercise for Tesla. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), which is heading the efforts to provide incentives for automakers to make zero-emissions vehicles for the most populous US state, may rejigger

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With a fresh, kid-friendly look on the official website (see above), there appears to be new life in Better Place. The Israeli electric vehicle charging and battery swap station company was approved for sale to Sunrise for almost $5 million. In May, Better Place announced bankruptcy proceedings.

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After last night's initial public demo of the Tesla Model S battery swap, we attended a small press conference with Tesla CEO Elon Musk where he answered questions about the program. You can get the early details about the swap stations in our first post and then dive into our back and forth with Tesla, below. You can also scroll down to see a video of the battery swap process in action, if you're more of a visual learner.

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We'll link to this 2009 post up front, just to make sure everyone's clear that the fact that a Tesla EV can, indeed, do battery swaps is old news. Yes, four years ago, we learned the all-electric Model S was designed with battery swaps in mind. Or, as Tesla CEO said tonight, "We designed Model S from the beginning to be capable of swapping out the battery pack faster than you can fill a gas tank." Are we clear? Good.

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The man known to some in Israel as "Captain Sunshine" may bring bankrupt battery-swapping firm Better Place out of the dark by potentially buying the company's assets, the Jerusalem Post reports.

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Renault says the recent bankruptcy filing by battery-swapping technology firm Better Place will do little to dissuade the automaker (and sister company Nissan) from continuing to try and boost electric-vehicle sales worldwide.

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It came as a shock when Better Place founder Shai Agassi was ousted as CEO last October, but today's announcement that the company will enter bankruptcy proceedings is a little less of a surprise. After all, since Agassi left, there have been layoffs, another CEO departure and a shut-down of operations in the US and Australia.

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Sure, your first response to the idea of Tesla introducing a battery swap system might be, "what, this again?" After all, we heard in 2009 that the Model S was built with battery swaps in mind and, in 2011, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained the Model S battery swap idea this way: "When people take an occasional two-way long distance trip, they'll get a replacement pack and then pick up their original one on the way back. The issue of giving up your one-year old pack for a three-year old one goes awa

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In February, the world's best-known plug-in battery-swapping network left California. Now, it looks like the state's not too keen on the concept.

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Zap Jonway is trying a lot of different angles in its 380 SUV lineup. Not only can you buy the A380 SUV CNG hybrid version with extended range, now you can swap out batteries in the upcoming E380 SUV battery electric version, as well. And get this – you don't even have to do the battery swapping yourself. A robot arm takes care of it for you.

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Shai Agassi has been pondering what it will take for electric vehicles to beat cheap gasoline-powered competitors. And he got some advice from former president Bill Clinton in 2006: giving away the car is a sure way to succeed.

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Better Place, the electric-vehicle battery-swapping technology developer, is swapping out its US and Australia operations to save cash and will focus its efforts on Denmark and Israel.

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Better Place might not be such a good one when it comes to employment, given reports that the electric vehicle infrastructure network might fire as many as 200 workers. According to the Israels business publication Globes, Better Place, which at one point employed as many as 400 people in Israel, has already pink-slipped about 140 people.

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San Francisco will get a treat of a different kind in 2014 when battery-swapping network builder Better Place starts serving a fleet of electric-powered taxis in the Bay Area, Forbes reports.

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