Electric Cars are the way to go for eco-conscious people, but there is the drawback of long charging times. With standard outlets, a single charge can take up to seven hours. Danish innovation to the rescue: Just launched is the first battery switching station not only in Denmark but in the entire European continent. This is only the first of the 20 stations being planned for this Scandinavian country. Better Place is the group behind the battery swap station.
Located in Gladsaxe, outside of Copenhagen, the battery swap station functions in much the same way as a gas station. Its goal is to provide drivers of electric cars with a fully recharged battery. This makes it very convenient for them as they no longer have to wait for 15 to 30 minutes to partially charge or even hours to wait for a fully recharged battery.
When drivers pull up at the station, they just need to swipe their membership card and drive to the special track where their batteries are switched automatically. They don’t have to do go out of their cars during the process because they can just sit back and relax while the robotic systems in place do the work to change a depleted battery with a fully charged one. And what’s great about this is that the process only takes a mere two minutes.
Unlike a recharging station, the Better Place switching station replaces a battery with a fully charged one. It then recharges the depleted battery for installation in another compatible vehicle that would need it.
Initially, the batteries being swapped at the Better Place station are compatible only with the Renault Fluence Z.E. and the Nissan Rogue SUV vehicles. Another deal is in the works with China’s leading auto manufacturer Chery.
Better Place signed a deal with Renault in 2010 to supply some 100,000 electric cars (Fluence EZ models) to Denmark by 2016. The company foresees more electric cars to be sold in Denmark compared to the regular engine cars by 2020.