NORTHBROOK, Illinois, March 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global leader in product safety testing and certification services, worked with Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, to address the necessary safety requirements needed to help the company bring the world's first electric taxis with switchable batteries to Japan.

By leveraging its existing knowledge and presence in the local market, UL helped the taxi project's battery supplier, A123 Systems, prove that the switchable Nanophosphate(TM) lithium-ion batteries, proposed for this project, comply with the safety requirements needed for Better Place's battery switch stations. UL's knowledgeable, professional support resulted in electrolyte and other battery classifications.

UL enabled the process to analyze and classify that the lithium-ion batteries for this highly visible taxi project met safety requirements, says Kiyotaka Fujii, president of Better Place Japan and head of business development, Asia-Pacific. UL's unparalleled expertise, worldwide network of engineers and timely technical assistance were instrumental in bringing together both the public and private sectors and helping assure the relevant authorities that our project met established requirements for safety.

Applying more than a century of experience in safety testing and certification, UL supports the advancement of the EV industry by developing safety standards for batteries and infrastructure components and working with regulatory authorities to identify and address safety and environmental concerns.

Industry analysts forecast that in 2020, approximately 14 million electric vehicles will be sold in China, Japan, the United States and Western Europe[1], said Jeff Smidt, UL's vice president for global energy. When new technologies rapidly gain market share, it is important to address potential fire, electric shock and other safety hazards that otherwise may be overlooked. UL is working with government regulators, infrastructure developers and manufacturers to make sure that safety is an important consideration wherever electric vehicles are used.

UL offers a wide range of services globally for different types of battery chemistries ranging from lithium-ion to lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium. As the leading developer of safety standards for electric vehicles, including those related to electric car batteries, UL involves various stakeholders in developing safety requirements for electric vehicles and charging systems to protect consumers and support more sustainable transportation options around the world.

About Underwriters Laboratories

UL is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems from more than 66,000 manufacturers each year. In total, there are more than 20 billion UL Marks appearing on products worldwide. UL's global family of companies and network of service providers includes 68 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 102 countries. For more information, visit:

About Better Place

Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia. More information is available at

(1) Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities and the Outlook to 2020. The Boston Consulting Group, January 2010.

SOURCE: Underwriters Laboratories

CONTACT: Katya Chistik Hantel of GolinHarris for UL, +1-312-729-4219,, or Yassie S. Dunn, Underwriters Laboratories,+1-847-664-3056,