Better Place Demos EV Battery Switching

Better Place today demonstrated its automated battery switching technology for the first time in Japan.

The company, which is developing infrastructures for electric vehicles around the world, has said it will rely on a network of charging stations and service stations that can swap out depleted batteries–thereby extending the driving range of electric vehicles.

The switch process, takes about a minute–faster
than filling a tank with gasoline. The driver remains in the vehicle, while two robotic shuttles on an automated track remove a
depleted battery and transfer a fully charged battery into the

One battery shuttle holds the fully charged battery, while the other removes the depleted battery and places it in a storage bay
for recharging.

Better Place said the
battery shuttles are designed to work with a wide variety of battery
enclosure sizes and shapes.

However, the company said the battery switch stations will only work with vehicles adapted to accept the switchable-battery layout required by the Better Place business model.

Better Place charging stations will have open network
standards, capable of charging different makes and models of vehicle. 

Better Place demonstrated these charging stations as well, which were
powered by photovoltaic solar panels supplied by Sharp Corp.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is partnering with Better Place to develop cars for test markets in Israel and elsewhere.

The Japanese Ministry of Environment invited betterplace to demonstrate its technology as part of the launch of a electric vehicle study.

“Japan has always been at the forefront of automotive engineering and design and maintains a strong sense of environmentalism,” said Kiyotaka Fujii, President of Better Place Japan and Head of Business Development for Asia Pacific. “The launch of Japan’s electric vehicle study is an important milestone in achieving a zero-emission transportation society, and our successful demonstration of charging vehicles with both fixed and switchable batteries is an important contribution towards moving the entire industry forward.”

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