Battery swapping start-up opens first centre in Europe

7 Mar 2011

Better Place, the start-up that enables battery swapping for the increasing number of electric vehicles, opened its first centre in Europe last week.

The centre, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, has collaborated with manufacturer Renault, which will sell the Fluence ZE by the end of 2011.

Better Place has one of the most up to date methods of solving the battery-charging issue for EVs. Better Place allows drivers to simply switch the depleted battery with a fully charged one, instead of having to plug it into a socket.

The company claims the process is not only faster than charging, but also only takes up to three minutes for the battery on an EV to be switched. The switch, which is made by a robotic unit, allows the driver to remain in the car, driving the car onto a special platform. The driver can simply drive off when the process has been completed.

The Fluence will be priced from €27,496. Better place will offer consumers a choice of five, fixed-price packages based on kilometres driven, ranging from €199 a month to €399. The price includes a €1,341 fee for installation of a home charger.