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Summary:

Anyone stay up late and watch Better Place’s battery swap live video event? As we noted yesterday, Better Place touted its first battery swap station in Yokohama, Japan last night and released photos and videos of the system. My first impressions: Looks like a really slick-looking […]

BetterPlaceBatterySwap2Anyone stay up late and watch Better Place’s battery swap live video event? As we noted yesterday, Better Place touted its first battery swap station in Yokohama, Japan last night and released photos and videos of the system. My first impressions: Looks like a really slick-looking car wash with a scissor lift removing the old battery and replacing it with a new one. What do you think — is the revolution here?

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  1. I give them credit for thinking creatively about the problem. But, like all the infrastructure-intensive solutions to mobility (hydrogen, CNG, etc) it will likely succumb to the chicken-and-egg fate.
    The one really big idea that may survive is that the battery DOES NOT have to be from the same place as the car. If a standard interface could be mandated (they mandate an awful lot of things on cars, no reason this couldn’t be another one) then automakers could get out of the battery business, like they are out of the gasoline business, and consumers could benefit from sharing programs like Better Place, competition among battery companies to get market share, and they could take advantage of improvements in battery performance without having to trade in the whole car.

  2. “Is the revolution here?”

    YES.

  3. What to read on the GigaOM network Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    [...] May 13, 2009 | 10:26 AM PT | 0 comments Review: SlingPlayer on the iPhone, sans 3G (NewTeeVee) Photos: Better Place’s battery swap station (Earth2Tech) Mifi comes to Sprint with GPS, Simply Everything plan (jkOnTheRun) oDesk launches [...]

  4. I’m beginning to think that the bad idea that is PBP is appealing to gov’t types because it sets up an infrastructure that is easily CONTROLLED (e.g., taxed) even though it’s a more expensive option and not in the consumers’ best interest.

    “Is the revolution here?”

    If this is what the revolution is, then I certainly hope not.

  5. Harrison Powers Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    This needs to look a lot less like an assembly line if it’s going to work.

  6. Green Ink: Demand Doldrums and a Climate Compromise – Environmental Capital – WSJ Thursday, May 14, 2009

    [...] build batteries for locomotives, in the WSJ. Speaking of batteries, Earth2Tech offers a look at the battery-swap stations Better Place would use to create a network of electric [...]

  7. link love | AirDye® – Good for Water Friday, May 15, 2009

    [...] Earth2Tech snaps photos of Japan’s first drive-through battery swap for electric [...]

  8. Yes. When they started coming out with electric cars the limits were always distance on one charge…always easy to swap out rather than pull into station and quick charge. My question right now is why aren’t school buses or public transportation being pushed and aided to make the switch…their daily routes have to be less than 70 miles.

  9. Battery Swapping & Pay-Per-Mile to Speed Adoption of Electric Cars, Says Study Monday, July 13, 2009

    [...] modeled “adoption rates of electric vehicles with pay-per-mile service contracts” and switchable batteries — basically the Better Place [...]

  10. Better Place Targets Tokyo Taxis Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    [...] vehicle infrastructure company Better Place chose Yokohama, Japan, to show off its first — and the world’s first — battery swapping station. Now the startup is [...]

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