A new battery switch technology for electric vehicles was demonstrated for the first time in Yokohoma, Japan Tuesday by the company Better Place.

The technology was demonstrated at a ‘Better Place’ station.

As if making a pit stop, electric vehicles enter a Better Place station and access a platform where they are replaced with a newly full charged battery in about 1 minute, with no need for the driver to come out of the car. This allows the autos to drive long distance trips.

The technology is innovative since an electric vehicle could take hours to fully charge its battery. Tesla Motors' Roadster sport car can be fully charged in about 3.5 hours at a home High Power Connector unit.

The system works with two robotic battery shuttles on an automated track system.One shuttle removes the discharged battery from the car and the second inserts a fully charged battery.

Removed batteries are taken by the robots to a storage bay for recharging so they can be used in another electric vehicle.

The company's business model consists in selling subscriptions for the users to access Better Place's service.

Tuesday's demonstration in the Yokohama station was tested with a Nissan SUV modified to run entirely on batteries. The station is part of a government-sponsored 6-month test around electric vehicles.

Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place said that the company plans to test its components, such as battery-changing and car-charging stations in 2009, according to CNET.

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