Electric vehicle infrastructure provider Better Place has concluded a three-month field test in Tokyo to prove its battery swapping technology works as promised. In cooperation with Nissan and battery supplier A123 System, three Rogue crossovers were converted to electric drive and given replaceable batteries. The battery-powered Rogues were used as taxis in the Japanese capital and had their 17 kilowatt-hour batteries replaced several times a day. In the test form, the Rogue EV has a real world range of 50-60 miles.
Apparently there was only one incident of one of the cabs needing a tow back to the swap station when a driver ran out of juice early in the test period. The rest of the time, everything worked out. Later this year, Better Place will launch a similar test in Israel before rolling out a full network of stations there and in Denmark by the end of 2011. In Israel and Europe, Renault will be supplying a version of its Fluence sedan with swappable batteries. Aside from Renault and Nissan, no other automakers have signed up to work with Better Place's battery swap scheme. You can watch a video of the battery swap here.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]