There are two schools of thought about electric vehicle battery systems: one is that batteries should be bought along with the vehicle and kept as long as possible, and the other–supported by California-based EV services startup Better Place–is that batteries should be leased and swapped out when necessary at curbside stations. According to Better Place, the advantage to swapping out batteries is that drivers can exchange depleted battery packs for fresh ones in under three minutes, much faster than the average charging time.
Better Place’s first real-world tests came a few months ago, when it installed the world’s first battery-switchable electric taxis in Tokyo. Now we finally have video proof from the backseat of one of these taxis (hat tip, Autobloggreen) that the battery switching system works as quickly as the company says. The company plans on installing charge spots, operations centers, in-car software, and switch stations next year in both Denmark and Israel.