Israeli Better Place, Renault sign deal for electric car

Expensive gas, high mileage, lack of popular fuel efficient vehicles make Fluence Z.E. a good deal for Australia.

June 22, 2011 11:58
2 minute read.
Better place car charging

Better place 311. (photo credit: Better place)

Better Place and Renault announced Monday that the French car company will import its electric car with switchable battery, the Fluence Z.E., into Australia, where the Israeli group will be providing the charging network and commercial infrastructure.

The two companies will begin a joint marketing campaign leading up to the car’s intended 2012 Australia launch.

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Canberra customers will receive the cars in the middle of the year, while general customers will be able to purchase the vehicles a few months later, according to the statement.

Similar to Israeli customers, who will be able to purchase the same car in mid-July, with expected delivery by the end of this year, the Australians will be required to sign up for a Better Place membership package, customized to their driving habits, Better Place said.

“The Fluence Z.E. in Australia makes sense for our model for a number of reasons: it’s a region where the average annual mileage is over 20,000 kilometers per year, high petrol bills due to the number of miles driven, compounded by the fact the popular cars do not tend to be the most fuel efficient,” Better Place spokeswoman Julie Mullins told The Jerusalem Post earlier this week by e-mail. “Add to that, you have the majority of the population centered around five main urban areas, so it’s a matter of building out each of these urban centers and covering the connecting highways with switch stations.”

Earlier this month, Better Place announced it had signed a 10-year, $60 million agreement with Australian company ActewAGL to supply renewable energy for its future electric-car charging network in Canberra. ActewAGL is supposed to provide power through wind, hydroelectric and solar sources, according to a statement from Better Place.

Better Place intends to begin rolling out its Australian national electric-car infrastructure network by the end of 2011, the company said.

“Battery Switch is the key to unlocking the full potential of electric cars in Australia, as it is only with battery switch that drivers can truly experience the freedom of electric drive with the same convenience they experience with today’s petrol cars,” Mullins said.

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