Would Battery-Swapping Do It For You?

August 29, 2010 | 10:47
Would Battery-Swapping Do It For You?
Would Battery-Swapping Do It For You?
Just yesterday I was publicly pondering a possible EV purchase, I see one major drawback: the long charging times. A few solutions are already being introduced as we speak. The action radius of the average EV battery is growing by the day and rapid charging systems are being installed in major cities all over the world. A (temporary) solution that might cause me to buy an EV in the (very) near future is being tested in Tokyo: A battery swapping station. An average battery swap: 59 seconds. I think filling up your car with petrol and paying will take at least three times longer.

US based company Better Place started the pilot in collaboration with the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Nihon Kotsu Co., Tokyo's largest taxi operator. The trial, which started last April and has just been extended until November, aims to determine the "feasibility of battery switch as means for taxis to have instant, zero emission, range extension."

"Up to this point, there has been very little information about how an EV battery will perform in heavily used, real-world, taxi conditions. This program has provided us with critical insights into the battery performance in a switch model and switch station performance for the toughest customers - taxi drivers," said Kiyotaka Fujii, President of Better Place Japan. "By extending this program, we hope to gain further insights into the battery performance and durability of the switch station itself, which will be invaluable as we move towards commercial launch later next year in Israel and Denmark."

I don't think it's likely battery swapping stations will have a long life span. By the time the pilot results are in, plans are written and policy is made, battery technology has probably developed and we're able to drive 1000 kilometers without recharging. Or am I being optimistic? It would however be a great temporary solution, just a quick stop at any gas station, swap the battery and you're off.

Via Treehugger / Better Place
Loading comments...
related items