Better Place, the start up that wants to bring electric car charging and battery swapping stations to the masses, has announced a partnership with Tokyo's Niho Kotsu taxi company. The taxi fleet will be the first to go all-electric with swappable batteries.
The partners will commence on a pilot project using Better Place's infrastructure in January 2010. The project's battery-swapping station will be located in the Roppongi Hills area of Tokyo.
Tokyo is a perfect location for this project since Japan has already proven itself as electric and hybrid car friendly. The Prius is the number one car in the country and the Insight and iMiEV have had great success as well. Also, other fleets have started to make the change to electric cars, including the Japan Post. It seems the country is ready to fully embrace electric vehicles, but for that to happen, the infrastructure has to be in place.
Better Place needs this project to have positive results. The company just revealed that batteries for its swapping stations will cost almost $12,000 each, at least for the next few years until battery production ramps up. In order to acquire enough batteries to get their swapping stations in place, the company is going to need good press and good investers.
written by Greenearth, August 29, 2009
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