Better Place is set to revolutionize the electric vehicle industry with their innovative plan for EV infrastructure — and now they’re putting their money where their mouth is by testing a brand new battery switching station in Tokyo. The first real-world facility of its kind will swap spent car batteries for fresh ones, helping to perfect the system in order to develop more efficient prototypes. Better Place is working with a pilot-program fleet of three cabs to stress test the facility, which can swap an EV’s spent battery for a full one in less than a minute!
The battery swap station for electric vehicles is located in the Roppongi Hills section of Tokyo and services a fleet of three cabs operated by Tokyo’s largest taxi company, Nihon Kotsu. A pilot program will last for 90 days and the cabs will return to the station for fresh batteries. This pilot program will serve to stress-test the station’s automated battery-swap equipment.
The Tokyo station is still a prototype — final stations will be able to accommodate multiple types of batteries from multiple producers, and will have greater storage capacity. Right now Better Place is using the Nissan Dualis compact S.U.V. for their tests, as the vehicle’s body is suitable for making the switch to E.V. configuration. This is not indicative of Better Place’s preference towards Nissan, however. After the testing phase in Tokyo, Better Place plans to open a swapping station in Israel.
Photo credits: Better Place Flickr