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Official: Zap figures why not throw battery swap into upcoming E380 electric SUV

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Zap Jonway is trying a lot of different angles in its 380 SUV lineup. Not only can you buy the A380 SUV CNG hybrid version with extended range, now you can swap out batteries in the upcoming E380 SUV battery electric version, as well. And get this – you don’t even have to do the battery swapping yourself. A robot arm takes care of it for you.

Zap Jonway, based in Santa Rosa, CA, made an agreement to work with the China National Grid to set up battery swap stations in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The Battery Swap Version was designed to work with the robotic system as specified by China National Grid (C-NG), which is the state-sponsored electric utility. The battery packs have been standardized to fit the robotic arm and also the recharging cabinets in the government-funded charging stations being deployed by C-NG.

The utility has launched extensive programs in selected provinces to support fast battery swapping. The battery swap usually takes no longer than six minutes to complete. It’s not entirely clear, but you can sort of see the battery being taken out (or being put in) in the photo above.

To support electric vehicle adoption, the utility is promoting the sale of EVs by not charging for lithium ion batteries, since they are leased by C-NG or an authorized funding partner. It’s a business model that been adopted by taxis in Hangzhou, and by a few leasing companies that are working in partnership with C-NG. The other main global proponent of battery swapping, Better Place, does not appear to have had anything to do with the Zap project.

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Zap figures why not throw battery swap into upcoming E380 electric SUV originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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