Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Better Place unveils battery switch technology in Japan

Better Place today unveiled the prototype of its battery switch technology in Yokohama, Japan. The system is a key component of Better Place's planned infrastructure of electric car exchange stations and charge spots.

Better Place showcased its battery switch platform using a modified NISSAN electric crossover SUV to demonstrate how to switch a depleted battery for a fully charged one.

“Today marks a major milestone for the automotive industry as well as for Better Place,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place, in a company press release. “For nearly a century, the automotive industry has been inextricably tied to oil. Today, we’re demonstrating a new path forward where the future of transportation and energy is driven by our desire for a clean planet and a robust economic recovery fueled by investments in clean technology, and one in which the well-being of the automotive industry is intrinsically coupled with the well-being of the environment.”

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is partnering with Better Place in Israel to enable zero-emissions mobility throughout the country by 2011. The realization of zero-emissions mobility in Israel will require the deployment of battery switch stations as well as a steady and reliable supply of vehicles adapted to accept the switchable-battery layout required by the Better Place business model.

“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.”

Moshe Kaplinsky
, CEO of Better Place Israel, told Globes: "This is a great achievement for Better Place and for Israel. The technology, which was developed in Israel, was presented in the heart of Japan's automobile industry. The development and demonstration of the battery replacement technology brings us significantly closer to completing the company's solution for developing a full recharging infrastructure for electric cars."

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