Using funds from a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission, Better Place will launch the project with four Coda Sedan EVs that will be customized by FEV to allow their batteries to be switched out in a matter of minutes. Ultimately, Better Place looks to support a fleet of 60 electric taxis between San Francisco and San Jose with six battery-swapping stations along the way.
Better Place, which already serves electric taxi programs in Tokyo and Amsterdam, began its battery swapping systems in Israel and Denmark with Renault EVs. Then, word came out in October that Better Place and Coda were working together on a battery-swappable taxi program for airports, though few details emerged beyond that.
In early October, Better Place replaced founder Shai Agassi with Better Place Australia chief Evan Thornley. While the company has raised about $750 million since its 2007 founding, it has also lost more than $400 million since then.