After announcing the completion of a three-month field test of its battery swapping system, Better Place has decided to keep the program running until at least late November. Three converted Nissan Rogues have been operating as taxis in central Tokyo, stopping by the Better Place quick change station for regular battery swaps. During the first three months of the program, the taxis accumulated over 25,000 miles and swapped batteries 2,122 times.
Battery Switching Station
Better Place and Nihon Kotsu electric taxi project – Click above to watch video after the jump
Over the weekend in Beijing, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure pioneer Better Place announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China's Chery Automotive. The deal will help Better Place bring its oft-talked about battery-swapping technology along with its EV charging infrastructure over to China.
Better Place battery swapping station – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.
When Better Place wanted to demonstrate how their battery switching station would operate they chose Yokohama Japan as the backdrop and now the land of the rising sun is returning some of that love. The electric vehicle infrastructure company has received an "award" to carry out a pilot project involving a switching station and battery-powered taxis operated by Nihon Kotsu in Tokyo. Although cabs comprise just two percent of the cars in Japan they're responsible for a whopping 20 percent of the