Electric car users fight to save battery swap infrastructure

A new association of electric car users wants to start a consortium to continue the battery swap infrastructure left behind after Better Place’s bankruptcy

Electric car users have started a new association to find a way to continue the use of Better Place’s infrastructure after the company declared bankruptcy in May.

Cars designed for the Better Place system were unique because the batteries were designed to be swapped out at special swap stations in the space of a few minutes.

Battery swapping meant that the Better Place cars – only one model, the Renualt Fluence ZE, was compatible with the system before the bankruptcy was announced – effectively had an unlimited range, which the company hoped would convince consumers to switch from petrol to electricity.

The bankruptcy was a major blow to Better Place customers who, without the battery swap system, were left with vehicles whose battery could only manage 120 kilometres before needing to be recharged – a process that takes several hours.

But the new association of electric car users, FDEL, hopes to save the battery swap infrastructure.

“Denmark is about to lose something valuable and that cannot be allowed to happen,” chairman Steen Frederiksen told Information newspaper.

The newspaper reports that FDEL has submitted a proposal to the Danish Energy Agency to receive some of the agency's 40 million kroner fund meant to promote electric car infrastructure.

“We have also held meetings with a number of actors who we would like to invite into a consortium to ensure that the battery swap infrastructure survives and is developed to its full potential,” Frederiksen said.

“We think we are on the verge of something great if this is handled right. It requires creating political momentum because the clock is ticking,” Frederiksen said, referring to the fact that insolvency administrators are currently working to sell Better Place’s assets in order to minimise losses on investors.





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