One of the favored concepts among many electric vehicle proponents (and, most prominently, Better Place) is replaceable battery packs as a means of "rapid refueling." However, aside from Nissan-Renault, no other major automaker has expressed any interest in the idea in the near term. Even Nissan is hedging its bets and the LEAF is not expected to include a swappable battery.

Ford's Nancy Gioia is among the naysayers on battery swapping. Gioia is Ford's global director of vehicle electrification and we've spoken with her on several occasions (see below) about the hybrid and plug-in programs at the Dearborn automaker. There are many issues with swapping, starting with the fact that there is no standard pack format meaning that swap stations would have to stock many different types. Many of the upcoming plug-in vehicles are using liquid-cooled packs, which means the coolant links would have to be opened up to change the pack.

The high voltage couplings also need to be designed to withstand thousands of connection cycles, while maintaining seals and connections. With battery technology still changing rapidly, automakers are unlikely to want to settle on a standard battery for the foreseeable future.

[Source: All Cars Electric]

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