When Better Place wanted to demonstrate how their battery switching station would operate they chose Yokohama Japan as the backdrop and now the land of the rising sun is returning some of that love. The electric vehicle infrastructure company has received an “award” to carry out a pilot project involving a switching station and battery-powered taxis operated by Nihon Kotsu in Tokyo. Although cabs comprise just two percent of the cars in Japan they’re responsible for a whopping 20 percent of the CO2 emitted. Expressing a desire to replace the entire 60,000-strong Tokyo fleet in the next decade, the trial gets underway modestly in January with up to four vehicles specially prepared using commercially available platforms by the venerable engineering firm Tokyo R&D Co. That company will also build the battery swapper, situated in the Roppongi Hills area in Central Tokyo, and supply the diagnostic software for the three-month test. Besides the taxi business, Better Place also has car rentals and sharing services on its “to do” list. The official press release awaits you after the break.
Gallery: Better Place battery swap station
Better Place to trial battery-swapping taxis in Tokyo originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 26 Aug 2009 13:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.