The Baran Group and Better Place signed an agreement Sunday under which Baran will build 51 battery switch stations over the course of 2011 for up to NIS 190m.

According to Better Place's model, battery switch stations will be like gas stations for electric vehicles. A spent battery will be replaced with a fully charged one in three minutes. Battery switch stations enable a continuous journey of more than 160 km without the need to plug into a charge point.

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The battery switch stations are being successfully tested in Tokyo and will soon be tested in San Francisco as well. Better Place has said it will have its charging network up and running and electric cars available for purchase by the end of the year.