Better Place unveiled on Sunday the first electric car it will sell to the Israel market - the Renault Fluence ZE. The vehicle, whose basic price will be NIS 122,900 excluding the necessary service package, will go on sale from mid-July and the first orders are expected to be ready to hit the roads by the end of this year.
Four years after Israeli
entrepreneur Shai Agassi founded the venture-backed company, with the aim of
reducing global dependency on oil, Israel will become, along with Denmark, the
first country in which Better Place’s rechargeable, zero emission vehicles will
be sold commercially.
On Sunday the Fluence and pricing plan were
unveiled by Better Place Israel CEO Moshe Kaplinsky, Renault EV Program Director
Thierry Koskas and other company representatives at a press conference in Tel
Aviv. Afterward, members of the press took the vehicles out for the first-ever
test drives in the city.
In addition to the standard Fluence, a luxury
version of the vehicle will also go on sale, which will include leather seats
and other accessories, costing NIS 129,900.
The standard accessories of
the Fluence includes a computerized driving and energymanagement system,
built-in GPS navigation system, online connection to a 24- hour customer service
center, four-year manufacturer’s warranty, split climate control air
conditioning, cruise control and automatic lights.
Buyers will be given a
choice of a variety of service packages, ranging from 20,000 kilometers usage
per year to 30,000 km. usage per year.
The service packages include
installation and maintenance of a home recharging station, free access to Better
Place’s battery replacement stations and road-side service. The company says it
will guarantee fouryear fixed-price packages, with no exit fees for customers
who sell their car and leave the plan.
The 20,000 km. package will cost
NIS 1,090 per month, including VAT; while the 30,000 km. plan will cost NIS
1,599 per month. The cost of each extra kilometer over the monthly limit will
vary between NIS 0.85 to NIS 1 per kilometer.
There will also be a
onetime, three-year subscription, which offers the vehicle, service package and
up to 25,000 km. a year of travel for an all-inclusive price of NIS
According to the company, the package will cut the cost of
vehicle maintenance by 20 percent, compared to the average gasoline-powered
Better Place presented its estimates at the press conference,
which showed that the 20,000 km. package will cost NIS 2,000 less each year the
cost of gasoline (at its current price) for the equivalent mileage; insurance
will cost NIS 1000 less than for a gasoline- based vehicle; and maintenance and
warranty savings will strip another NIS 1000 from the overall
Vehicle owners will need either private parking, or a marked space
in a public parking lot, to recharge their vehicle.
When members of the
media asked officials about the designated tax increase on the vehicle slated
for 2015 and 2020, Better Place responded that in four years it would be
positioned to ensure that costs to customers will remain unchanged.