Project Better Place is a company that's rethinking the way electric vehicles might work. Instead of recharging the battery while it sits in your car, you swap your dead battery for a full charged one, a process that takes less than a minute, and then the dead battery is charged to be ready when the next low-energy car shows up.
The idea is, in itself, extremely simple, and I think that's what they're going for in the above promo video. I think they're also trying to take a story that's primarily interesting to ecogeeks and broaden it out a bit with lots of cute kids who will, shortly, be inheriting a somewhat unstable planet.
But there are some problems with the battery replacement system. First, this removes one of the primary advantages of electric vehicles, and that is that the infrastructure is already in place. As the mythical hydrogen economy has shown, anything that requires a million new refueling stations around the country is going to take a long time to adopt. Second, every car will require more than one battery, because there will have to be one charging while you're depleting the one in your car. And, as batteries are one of the most expensive parts of an EV, this certainly isn't going to be cheaper, or more convenient, than a range-extended electric vehicle.
At least, in the short term.
written by MelissaFaith, January 12, 2008
written by Ryan Baker, January 12, 2008
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