One of the hurdles to making electric vehicles the rule rather than the exception is the time required to recharge them. Chinese-German firm Infra-Dianba, headquartered in Berlin, wants to solve the problem by simply replacing drained batteries with full ones.
At the company’s test facility in the German capital, robots can swap an empty battery for a full one in 50 seconds, with the entire procedure taking no more than a minute-and-a-half. In the past, such ideas have failed because there are no norm for EV batteries across brands. The new system, reports business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, gets around this obstacle by norming the casings with which various sorts of batteries can be clamped in place.
This alternative to charging stations would bring with it major changes for EV ownership and at least one significant potential advantage. EV owners would lease or buy a subscription for batteries rather than purchasing them as part of vehicles. Furthermore, batteries would no longer need to be quick-charged, which would prolong their working lives.
Similar systems are already been tried out in China. Sinopec, the largest Chinese gas station chain, plans to equip one-third of all its locations with battery-changing stations. Pilot projects are also underway in the United States.