Electric taxis roll into SF

Switchable batteries keep cabs moving

Some Bay Area taxis will soon be cleaner and quieter.

Better Place, a global electric-vehicle-services provider, recently teamed up with the cities of San Francisco and San Jose to make plans to bring an electric-taxi program to the region, according to news reports. The company will install and begin operating four battery-switch stations along the San Francisco/San Jose corridor over the next three years. The stations will allow drivers to replace their dead batteries with fully-charged ones in a matter of minutes, eliminating the three-to-four-hour period it would usually take to recharge a vehicle.

The move toward electric taxis is intended to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles to the region’s citizens, said Jason Wolf, vice president of the company’s North-America branch.

The company implemented a pilot program in Tokyo, Japan in April. It has been successful so far.