Electric vehicle battery exchange stations?

I'm having some trouble understanding the economics, prices, and infrastructure of the battery exchange system. I know that a lot of people disagree with this solution, but I am having trouble finding research on the specifics. What would be the costs to the consumer for a company like Better Place to build these exchange stations? Would consumers have to pay every time they swapped their drained battery for a fully charged one? Or how exactly would the leasing of the batteries work? And what would company's do about battery production, would there be one battery size and power that fits every EV perfectly, or would there be different kinds for different vehicles made by different companies? I would greatly appreciate any sort of input or knowledge on any of these aspects, especially the numbers of cost and infrastructure. Thanks so much!!

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have seen several references to this type of a system but the only company that seems to be putting the infrastructure in place is "Better Place." I have also questioned the economics and the wisdom of moving forward in a field that could change quickly with new technology. Either a breakthrough in battery power density or ultra capacitor energy density, moving to electrified roadways and online vehicles, or beginning to adopt generator trailers for longer EV road trips may make such a system obsolete.

    In an interview with Shai Agassi he admitted that the economics don't presently make as much sense in a market with cheap gasoline like the US (although electric cars will save the economy from oil.) However, in Israel and Denmark(1) where he has started Better Place fuel prices are high. Renault is making vehicles that have the necessary batteries. With an infrastructure in place this may guarantee them a market. Nissan was also supposed to be onboard with the Leaf but seems to have backed off for now.

    People would buy the car but not the battery. Better place would own the battery. With a monthly subscription, like you might pay for your cell phone, you would purchase the service. The cost of that service is being priced at a price similar to what you would have to pay for petrol for a gas vehicle. This is why it only presently makes sense where the cost of fuel is high. Without the cost of the battery the vehicle might be very inexpensive. An EV is cheap to operate. A subscriber would retain the savings in maintenance cost but transfer the savings in fuel costs to Better Place.

    Source(s): 1 In this talk he also mentions Australia, San Francisco, and Hawaii: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcoJt2KLC9k He is a compelling speaker and it is a good listen.
  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago


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