03/03/2011 03:10

Better Place announces that this is the first project in the field to be approved by the European Commission.

A Better Place-coordinated consortium will produce an interface enabling any electric car to be outfitted with a switchable battery.

This is the first project in the field to be approved by the European Commission, the company announced Wednesday.

Editor’s Notes: On the road to a Better Place

EASYBAT, a two-and-a-half-year research and development project, will be funded by the European Commission to the tune of 2.2 million euros as part of the Seventh EU Framework Program (FP7).

“The EASYBAT solution will consist of interfaces for switching a battery in and out of an electric car quickly and safely; the connector interfaces between the car, the battery, the communications network, and the battery cooling system; and design specifications that meet European industry and safety standards.

The solution will be integrated and tested on fully electric vehicles to ensure it meets production-grade manufacturing criteria and European safety standards.

“Upon conclusion, EASYBAT will have a next generation, commercially available solution for battery switch integration components and design plans that allow for different types of batteries, not just a single standardized battery. Car manufacturers that want to focus on proprietary battery technology can do so and still be able to integrate their technology into a switchable battery electric car platform as envisioned by EASYBAT,” Better Place said in a statement.

Better Place and Renault have developed electric cars and battery switch stations, where batteries can be removed and replaced via the car’s undercarriage in a totally automated process. Other electric vehicles do not have removable batteries, instead they recharge at charge points or via hook-ups at private households.

Better Place intends to launch its network of charge points and battery switch stations in conjunction with Renault’s cars in Israel and Denmark later this year.

The EASYBAT consortium consists of 11 European partners from four countries: Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands.