Better Place for an EV world

Battery Swapping To Seduce You To Buy Electric Cars

Better Place wants to build battery swapping stations for your electric car to relieve you of the so-called “range anxiety” touted by reluctant automakers. Will it be enough to entice you over to the electric car, EV world?

Back in 2008, Better Place, led by the charismatic Shai Agassi made quite a splash in an automotive world still reeling in from an unexpected recession (please don’t laugh..) with the notion that battery swapping stations could be built in order to let electric cars swap their depleted battery packs and go on their way. Theoretically, you could drive cross-country this way.

How Does It Work? According to Better Place, battery stations could be strategically placed in order to let you drive anywhere you wish. If this sounds familiar, its because Better Place took a lesson from the petroleum industry who promised Ford to conveniently place gas stations if he dropped production of those silly electric cars. In this case, a car could drive into a station, drop its battery pack and exchange it for a freshly charged one. Sounds great but there are some catches.


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So far just Renault has signed on to this program. Unless other car companies will follow suit, it's difficult to see this model go forward in its current form. This may force Better Place to build their own cars. There are some partnerships with Chinese car companies already, but if they are forced to go down this road, it may end up being a far more radical solution and one with even more risks. I see a cheaper dumber car, with a smart network. Maybe that's why the car companies are not balking.
I agree with you. Better Place has come a long way from the original idea of only swapping batteries to now charging stations also. It's a very long shot and having car manufacturers agree on a standard is close to impossible. The car rental business is looking at a lucrative horizon if they get their ponies in a row, they could stand to benefit the most from EVs. Good point about Better PLace building their own car. CODA has managed well, so far and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for them to follow suit. Plus, China is eager to invest with the reserve they have acquired.