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Better Place and Renault team up to launch pioneering electric car

Date
21 June 2011
Better Place and Renault team up to launch pioneering electric car

MELBOURNE: Better Place and Renault have announced a strategic partnership ready for their 2012 launch of the world’s first mass market, zero-emission vehicle with a switchable battery in Australia.

In the new partnership, Renault will import the Fluence Z.E. to Australia, and Better Place will supply the car with an EV charging network and services, to ensure its affordable and easy transition to the mass market.

Fluence Z.E is a family electric car which also appeals to fleet managers, owing to its economical credentials and switchable battery.

The switchable battery technology is convenient because the used-up battery can be swapped for a fully charged battery at one of Better Place’s battery switch stations, in less than the time it takes to fill up with petrol.

The Fluence Z.E. offers Australian drivers a range of 1785 kilometers on a full charge under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), but when combined with the Better Place network, Fluence Z.E. is also the world’s first mass-market EV with an effectively unlimited range.  

The cars should reach Canberra, Australia by mid-2012 and general sales are expected to begin in the months following.

Evan Thornley, CEO, Better Place Australia says: “Today marks the natural next step between Better Place and Renault and builds on nearly four years of close collaboration between the two companies. Under this agreement we are giving Australian drivers access to fully electric cars and a ubiquitous charge network that present a real alternative to the tyranny of petrol prices. Together, Better Place and Renault are taking a critical step to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport in a large country like Australia”

Robin Haycock, Head of Transport, The Climate Group says: “It’s great that joint ventures such as this are coming to market. Seeing real products attached to finance packages are the way forward in my opinion. I question how many new vehicles would be sold without a neatly packaged finance deal to make life easy for the end customer, and with this we would also get a de-risking of new emerging technologies in the low carbon world. We need to see more of these types of initiatives.”

By 2012, Better Place will have built the largest EV charge network in the world, which will beat equivalent plans in market-leading countries such as the US and China.

Better Place is a member of The Climate Group. 

Renault Z.E.

Program: EV

Program: Australia

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