SF Bay Area to Deploy Battery-Swappable Electric Taxis
http://www.plugincars.com/sf-bay-area-d ... 01948.html
http://www.sfmayor.org/press-room/press ... structure/Even though Better Place CEO Shai Agassi has been one of the more visible emissaries of the American electric vehicle movement, his Palo Alto startup has yet to prove that its battery-swapping model will make significant headway in the United States. But now, thanks to $7 million in funding from the federal DOT and the Metropolitan Transit Commission (which services the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area,) Better Place will at least have a presence in the region it calls home.
The money will go towards a demonstration project that will see the installation of four battery-swapping stations for local taxicabs. Locations will include San Francisco proper, San Jose, and San Francisco International Airport—with a fourth to be announced. The project is part of $45 million in federal, private and MTC funds that were announced last week by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, in an effort to make the Bay Area "the epicenter of EV technology."
A similar trial was completed this summer in Tokyo, where three taxis were driven more than 25,000 miles over a three-month period, completing more than 2,000 battery swaps at an average speed of less than a minute.
The taxis for the both the Tokyo trial and the Bay Area demonstration come via Renault-Nissan, which has designed a specially modified Nissan Rogue crossover as part of its relationship with Better Place. (The robotic mechanism used in battery swapping isn't compatible with any planned American-market EVs.)
The "E-Rogue" as it is being called, has a 17-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a range of 56 miles. The number of vehicles participating in the project is yet to be announced, as is an official launch date.