Better Place, an EV service provider, plans to launch a switchable battery, electric taxi program to the Bay Area in partnership with the cities of San Francisco and San Jose with support from the US Department of Transportation via the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Over the next three years, Better Place will deploy and operate four battery switch stations in the San Francisco to San Jose corridor under the program to support a fleet of switchable electric taxis.

The deployment of the electric taxis is expected to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas and other tailpipe emissions in California and the Bay Area, while the battery switch option will suit the requirement of the cab driver to recharge the vehicle in less time than it takes to refuel.

The other agencies joining this program include Yellow Cab Cooperative, Yellow Checker Cab, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Climate Collaborative, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, EV organizations like Plug-in America, AAA Northern California and other business groups.

The EV taxi program complements Better Place’s plan to develop and deploy countrywide networks of charging and battery-switching infrastructure in its first two markets, Israel and Denmark prior to the commercial launch in Canberra, Australia in late 2011.

Better Place vice president of North America Jason Wolf said that this program marks a significant milestone in the march towards accelerating the mass adoption of electric cars in the Bay Area.