Nissan Mixim Concept EV
Nissan-Renault has a partnership with a California-based company called Better Place to interface its electric cars into a battery swapping infrastructure. The concept is to sell people cars without a battery, but make those cars' battery sockets standardized so that drivers can pull into a battery swapping station when they're low on charge and get a full fresh one. Drivers would pay a subscription for the service. The cars for this and the infrastructure is being rolled out primarily in Israel.
Since Nissan intends to begin global mass production of an electric car in 2010, one question remains as to whether the cars in the US will be Better Place compatible as well.
"Better Place is certainly one of our global partners, says Mark Perry, director of product planning of Nissan Motors. "We are exploring the battery swapping business model in Israel with them."
Perry implies, however, that there are no current plans for such a scheme in the US. "There are no contracts signed (with Better Place) for anywhere else," he says.
Nissan also doesn't appear to believe the US will adopt such swapping infrastructure anytime soon.
"In the US what method is going to be up to the consumer," says Perry. "Right now we feel it is going to be home charging as the primary charging."
Nissan plans to unveil its new 100 mile range global electric vehicle on August 2nd in Yokohama Japan. Cars will go on sale in selected regions of the United States by the end of 2010 at a cost of ownership Nissan says will be same or less than for comparable gas cars.