Those who scoff at the metric system may belittle any publicity related to kilometers covered instead of miles, but we're still pretty impressed.
Recently, Ecomagination, General Electric's cleantech and sustainable infrastructure website, interviewed Shai Agassi, the founder and chief executive officer of battery swap specialist Better Place. Questions centered on how Better Place will forever change the notion that electric vehicles are range-limited machines.
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.
Better Place and Nihon Kotsu electric taxi project – Click above to watch video after the jump
Better Place and Nihon Kotsu electric taxi project – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.
2012 Renault Fluence Z.E. – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.
NuTech battery swap trailer model - Click above for high-res image gallery
Kangoo be bop Z.E. - Click above for a high-res image gallery