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Better Place consortium launches electric taxi project with battery switch station at Schiphol airport
3 September 2012
A Better Place-led project consortium has launched an electric taxi project—including a battery-switch station—at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The company also announced the appointment of Paul Harms as CEO of Better Place Netherlands. Harms previously served as CEO of Athlon Netherlands and as an Executive Vice President of Athlon Car Leasing International.
Awarded last year, the project consortium, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles,” is the first decarbonization infrastructure project co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T program. The Battery Switch Station was built in partnership with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and will initially serve 10 Renault Fluence Z.E. taxis operated by three leading Dutch taxi companies—Connexxion, Bios and TCA. The Schiphol station is exclusively dedicated for the use of the Renault Fluence Z.E. electric taxis at this time.
Better Place also announced that it will expand the Schiphol showcase to include a second Battery Switch Station in Amsterdam, which will increase the service area for the first group of electric taxis.
The Schiphol-Amsterdam corridor is one of the more demanding routes in the world with more than 700,000 taxi trips originating from Schiphol each year. Applying battery switch technology to electric taxis allows them to operate virtually around the clock without the need to stop, plug in, and charge. The project showcases that with the right solution, high usage vehicles such as taxis can make the switch to electric cars.
On average, Dutch consumers drive around 15,000 kilometers (9,321 miles) each year, with a large segment of business users that drive around 30,000 kilometers (18,641 miles) on average, making The Netherlands one of the most attractive markets for electric kilometers in Europe.
Batter Place recently completed an historic “lap” around Israel by driving the Renault Fluence Z.E. 1,150 KM in 16 hours without stopping to charge. Instead, the team leveraged the Better Place network of Battery Switch Stations around the country by switching the battery along the way.
In Denmark, a Better Place network of five Battery Switch Stations now connects Copenhagen to Aarhus, allowing Danish drivers to complete one of the most important routes in the country. Thirteen more Switch Stations will be completed by year’s end.
In both markets, drivers of more than 500 Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars with switchable batteries have driven more than three million electric kilometers to date (1.9 million miles). Better Place has delivered more Renault Fluence Z.E.s in Israel year-to-date than in all of France.
Better Place has raised more than $750 million of equity financing to date. Last week, Better Place announced its first-ever credit facility from a financial institution—a €40 million loan from the European Investment Bank.
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