Better Place battery swapping tech to live on in Chinese buses

ZAE signed the deal with China's Bustil to design 7,000 swap stations for Nanjing, the Capital of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China; If all goes well, taxis may be added to the mix as well.

April 28, 2015 16:54
1 minute read.

Dr. Amir Ziv-Av and Ziva Patir (center) pay a visit to the BYD company's factory in Nanjing in the center . (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Ziv Av Engineering, a company that helped design automated battery-swapping stations for Better Place, has been hired to install similar infrastructure for electric buses in Nanjing, China.

Better Place, which went bankrupt two years ago, had been an international media sensation for its vision of pushing the world toward electric vehicles. One of its innovations was the idea to quickly swap car batteries at stations instead of requiring owners to charge them.

The battery-swap technology helped make lengthier trips possible for vehicles that would otherwise require recharging after traveling certain distances.

When Better Place cars eventually went on sale, however, they had difficulty finding buyers, and the company went under shortly thereafter.

ZAE signed the deal with China’s Bustil to design 7,000 swap stations for Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China, whose population is roughly on par with that of Israel. Bustil, which operates swap stations in other Chinese cities, holds the franchise for charging and switching batteries on electric buses in Nanjing through its municipal authority.

“The electric car is the future of the transportation industry,” said Ziv-Av, the company’s owner and chairman, “especially in an urban environment requiring green friendly solutions and the reduction of air pollution. I hope that the insights derived from the project in Nanjing are also used in other projects in China, Israel and all over the world “.

The buses will offer a somewhat different challenge than the original car battery-swapping technology; each bus has seven to nine batteries, and ZAE will be responsible for both the swapping technology and transporting batteries between swapping stations and charging stations.

If all goes well, taxis may be added to the mix as well.

Israeli bus company Dan bought electric buses from the same Chinese manufacturer that supplies them to Nanjing, called BYD. The deal is part of the framework of an Economy Ministry- sponsored bilateral R&D program between Israel and Jiangsu.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The Herzlich family home designated for destruction in Tapuach West
May 21, 2019
Border Police destroy Jewish family home in the West Bank