Baran Group (TASE: BRAN; Pink Sheets:BRANF) will design and build up to 51 battery replacement stations for electric car venture Better Place LLC in Israel in a NIS 190 million turnkey project. The estimated cost of each battery replacement station is $ 1 million. The battery replacement stations will be built by subsidiary Baran Industries (91) Ltd. during 2011.

Better Place said that the battery replacement stations will ensure continuous travel of more than 160 kilometers without the need to recharge the batteries. The automatic replacement of empty batteries with full ones will take just three minutes. It added that the battery replacement stations will be the model for the stations to be built in other countries, including Denmark, Australia, and the US.

Baran will finance 70% of the cost of the first 20 battery replacement stations with owner’s credit to Better Place.Automotive experts would comment the most inefficient operation of a vehicle results through idling. However, idling is a necessary evil through stop and go city driving as gasoline conventionally flows to maintain an engines running state.

Providing an ideal solution, a start-stop generator system shuts down the gasoline engine when the vehicle draws to a standstill. Start-stop generators is also designed to swiftly reactivate the gasoline engine when power is summoned onto the accelerator by the driver. On the premise of turning the engine off, it is suggested that fuel economy could improve by as much as 10 percent.

Better Place CEO Moshe Kaplinski said that 2011 opened with an important contract. “The battery replacement station is the most advanced technology in the world for extending travel by the electric car. We are pleased in the confidence expressed by another Israeli company, Baran, a leader in its field in Israel and internationally.”

Baran’s share price rose 4.6% in morning trading on the TASE to NIS 21.48, giving a market cap of NIS 175 million.

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