Kandi Technologies, producer of go-carts, ATV's and the COCO mini-car has just announced an alliance with major Chinese energy, IT and battery companies to support a "new business model" for the adoption of electric vehicles. 

Confusingly, they refer to this new business model as an "open architecture" approach, which to those familiar with the computer industry, means a product whose interfaces are well specified, but openly sourced among competitors, allowing assemblers a wide variety of options for adding, upgrading and swapping components.  Reading through the press release, it appears that Kandi means something totally different - easy access to the batteries, so that they can be quickly removed and replaced - much like Better Place proposes, although their system may not be automated.

Perhaps the Chinese central government prefers a more direct hand in how electric vehicles develop within their country, instead of allowing multi-national partnerships steer the development, thus controlling the sourcing of the products and infrastructure for electric vehicles.  Regardless, it does appear that Better Place has lost its opportunity to develop within the world's largest auto market.  Perhaps an alliance can be made between Kandi Technologies and Better Place to eliminate some duplication of efforts and reduce their costs.

[Source: Kandi Technologies Corp. via Marketwire]