Mike Stevens | Jun 9, 2009

THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE REVOLUTION is well under way.

To bolster its position as one of the leaders of the emerging propulsion technology, Renault-Nissan has announced the first details of the recharge system to be used on its forthcoming electric vehicle range.

When Renault’s first EV goes on sale in Europe in 2011, owners will be able to recharge their cars in one of three ways. Regular and quick recharges will be available by simply plugging the car in whilst parked, for those in a real hurry though a complete battery swap will also be available in under three minutes.

nissan-ev-02-test-car

A regular charge will see a depleted battery fully charged in between four to eight hours, depending on the outlet voltage.

Quick charging the battery will restore 80 percent of the batteries charge in just 20 minutes.

Battery swapping would be done in a fully automated process as displayed by the likes of Better Place, who is currently in talks regarding the setup of a network of recharge points and swap stations along Australia’s East Coast.

better-place-renault-ev

While customers would own their vehicles, Renault-Nissan would own the high-cost battery packs which will be leased to vehicle owners.

Public and private business will provide recharge and battery swap facilities which would be billed on a similar system to a mobile phone. A fixed fee for a set distance with the option to add additional kilometres to the traveling range as required.

Renault will have its first electric vehicle, a production version of the Kangoo ZE concept ready for sale by 2011. Nissan will offer an EV of its own in Europe the following year.

Nissan Australia confirmed to The Motor Report that its first EV model will also arrive in Australia in 2012.

better-place-battery-swap-station

Subaru’s All-Electric Stella and Mitsubishi’s i MiEV electric vehicles have already hit the roads in Japan and Mitsubishi has complied the i MiEV with Australian Design Rules, pending head office approval of the vehicle for sale in Australia.

While there is no word yet on how replaceable the batteries of those models are, both could potentially be launched here soon and with the help of re-charge suppliers, the electric dream may not be far off becoming a reality in Australia.

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