Check it out:
Aptera is by no means alone.
Meet Shai Agassi of BetterPlace.com speaking at a Web 2.0 summit. Agassi's new business model is based on all-electric cars with easy to charge and easy to swap out batteries running on highways served by an intercontinental, indeed international, network of charging/battery changing stations.
Agassi has raised an unprecedented $300M in seed and development capital and installations of his vision are already underway in Israel and in process in Hawaii.
The Better Place network will provide fully-automated battery exchange stations. These swap stations are designed to extend the driver’s journey beyond the 100 mile range of a fully-charged battery. Because most of today’s driving is within 40 miles of the home, a visit to one of these facilities will be infrequent when compared to the number of times we currently have to pull into a gas station.I don't know about you but to me this looks suspiciously like the future.
These Better Place battery exchange stations are even more efficient and convenient than conventional gas stations. Each is roughly the size of your average living room. Like the charging spots, they are fully automated. A driver pulls in, puts the car in the neutral gear, and sits back. The battery exchange station does all the work. The depleted battery is removed, and a fully-charged replacement is installed. In under three minutes, the car is back on the road. It’s just like an automatic car wash, a quick, effortless, drive-through experience.
The battery exchange stations will be able to accommodate any Better Place-compliant vehicle. All manufactured batteries will be stocked so that any electric vehicle with a swappable battery, regardless of make or model, can pull in and be serviced.
UPDATE: Apparently Korea's Hyundai is getting into the act.
UPDATE #2: Introducing the Tesla S Electric to launch in 2011 at around $50K.
UPDATE #3: Even China is planning to give the US "Big Three" automakers a run for their money in the electric car market.