Electric vehicle network provider Better Place has announced that EVs using its battery switching infrastructure in Israel and Denmark, have now covered more than 1 million kilometers (625,000 miles) in testing.
Better Place has been a strong proponent of battery switching technology, recently investing a further $96 million in developing the infrastructure.
Battery switching works via flat or “pancake” batteries mounted on the underside of the vehicle. To change one out, the vehicle is driven inside a charging station and onto a ramp. Using a robotic system, the battery is quickly removed from the car in position on the ramp. A new, fully charged battery is then substituted, enabling the motorist to continue on in a matter of minutes. Depleted batteries are then cooled and charged, ensuring that every time a car enters one of the charging stations, a fully charged battery is available.
With testing almost completed, following 15,000 successful switches of batteries in a network of 55 stations in both Denmark and Israel, Better Place is in the process of expanding customer delivery of its first EVs – Renault Fluence sedans incorporating battery switch technology.
In Israel, the company announced that it had delivered 110 cars in the month of May and with the first stations now becoming operable in the country, Israel will become the first nation where EV range isn’t restricted by battery condition.
“We’re excited to be delivering our services to our first set of customers,” said Shai Agassi, founder and CEO, Better Place. “Step by step we’re completing final tests on our system and scaling our network, the delivery of cars, and the number of kilometers driven. I’m delighted to see cars going to our members who are helping us change the world. Change takes time, and I am thankful for the extremely supportive Better Place community who has cheered us on along the way.”
Better Place is planning to open more battery switch stations in Israel and Denmark as testing of those units is completed, with nationwide coverage in both countries expected by the end of the third quarter this year.