Better Place launches battery-swapping taxis at Amsterdam airport

The company already has pilot programs going in China, Japan, Israel and Denmark, and this week it began a new trial project with the deployment of 10 electric taxis.

 

Better Place has a vision of a unique solution to range anxiety – instead of waiting to charge your EV battery, you trade it for a fully-charged one in minutes at an automated battery-switching station. The company already has pilot programs going in China, Japan, Israel and Denmark, and this week it began a new trial project with the deployment of 10 electric taxis at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Company founder and CEO Shai Agassi said, “we’re grateful for the support of the European Commission, the Dutch and Danish governments, Schiphol, Renault, and all of our partners in making this project happen in less than 18 months. We’re determined to demonstrate to Europe that electric cars can drive any distance in any country and aren’t just limited to short-distance driving.”

The new battery switch station will initially serve 10 Renault Fluence Z.E. taxis operated by three local taxi companies. Later, Better Place intends to launch a second station in downtown Amsterdam. Over 700,000 taxi trips originate from Schiphol each year. Applying battery switch technology allows them to operate virtually around the clock with no need to stop, plug in, and charge.

In Israel, one of the company’s Fluence sedans made a lap around the country, driving 1,150 km in 16 hours, using the Better Place network of switch stations to swap out the battery along the way. In Denmark, a network of five switch stations serves the busy corridor between Copenhagen and Aarhus, and 13 more are scheduled to be completed by year’s end.

 

Image: Better Place