System replaces electric car battery in under a minute
27 August 2009

Taxis in Tokyo will become the first cars in the world to test new technology that changes an electric car battery pack in about a minute - less time than it takes to fill the petrol tank.

Initially, up to four electric taxis will take part in the trial of the new technology, the charging system's makers, Better Place, announced.

The vehicles, operated by Tokyo's largest taxi operator Nihon Kotsu, will run from the Roppongi Hills shopping and office complex in the Japanese capital from January next year, as part of a trial commissioned by the government.

The system, which removes the depleted battery from the underside of the vehicle and replaces it with another one, was designed to spare electric car users the hassle of waiting around while a battery is recharged.

Better Place, launched in 2007 by entrepreneur Shai Agassi, is also teaming up with companies or governments in Israel, Denmark, Australia, the United States and Canada to promote the use of electric vehicles.

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