PHOTO CAPTION: Volkswagen E-Up! will not utilize battery swapping.

Volkswagen Not Interested in Battery Swapping System

German firm doesn't believe the concept will work given differences in vehicle preferences across continents.

Published: 18-Sep-2009

FRANKFURT, Germany -- You probably won't see Volkswagen and Better Place forming an alliance anytime soon.

Battery swapping in electric cars is expensive and impractical on a number of levels, said Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of the VW board and the executive who oversees technical development, during a roundtable with reporters at the International Auto Show taking place this week in Frankfurt. Car manufacturers, for one, don't like the idea because it would homogenize their cars and service stations would have to stock a huge variety of expensive batteries.

"The battery defines the architecture of the car. It only makes sense if you have the same type of battery for every car," he said. "I can't imagine all of the OEMs are building their cars around this type of battery.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Mitsubishi i MiEV Concept Mini-van

i MiEV is five passenger, battery-powered car with range of 80-100 miles per charge, which would be ideal for majority of population who live in or near the capital of Reykjavik. Pictured is a earlier i MiEV mini-van concept vehicle.

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A report from the Congressional Budget Office on Monday indicated that guaranteeing the loans would cost as much as $7.5 billion, double the original estimate.


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