The big announcement regarding battery swapping in Japan came just days ago as Better Place officially kicked off its taxi battery-swapping station. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has tried to steal a bit of the thunder by casually announcing its own swapping plans. No ribbon cutting or a bunch of hoopla for this one, but that doesn't make Mitsubishi's announcement – that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (former parent company of Mitsubishi) is developing electric buses that are capable of battery-swapping – any less important. Better Place is not involved with this one. The swap-capable electric bus program will kick-off next year.

Green Car Advisor asked Better Place founder Shai Agassi if he had any involvement with Mitsubishi's work, but he quickly denied any connection. This points to one of two scenarios: either Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is focusing efforts on developing its own battery-swapping technology or Agassi can't comment yet on his company's involvement.

An electric bus with battery-swapping capability makes us warm up to the whole quick-change idea. Buses could more easily accommodate a one-size-fits-all battery and swapping could allow the electric people movers to be on duty around the clock. The only complication we see is storage for, let's say, a 5,000-pound battery the size of a car.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]