A consortium coordinated by Better Place and including Renault, Continental, Ernst & Young, TÜV Rheinland, KEMA, and five leading European institutions announced on March 2 formal approval from the European Commission of an R&D program on battery swapping. The project calls for the EASYBAT consortium to develop off-the-shelf automotive-grade components and interfaces that would enable automakers to easily integrate battery switching technology into their electric car platforms. The first large-scale application of battery-switching technology will be shown by Better Place and Renault with the commercial launch of the Renault Fluence Z.E. in Israel and Denmark by the end of 2011. The EASYBAT solution will consist of interfaces for switching a battery in and out of an EV quickly and safely; the connector interfaces between the car, the battery, the communications network, and the battery cooling system; and design specifications that meet European industry and safety standards. Upon conclusion, EASYBAT expects to have a next-generation, commercially available solution that allows for different types of batteries, not just a single standardized one. Carmakers that want to focus on proprietary battery technology can do so and still be able to integrate their technology into a switchable battery electric car platform, according to EASYBAT. The European Commission will contribute €2.2 million to the project.