Better Place Israel announced the commercial launch of its Renault Fluence Electric Vehicles Sunday, almost six months after the first EVs hit the road on the company’s fourth anniversary in January.
A television, newspaper and Internet advertising campaign, run under the slogan “It’s not for everybody,” will introduce the arguments in favor of electric vehicles and present the types of people Better Place believes are not suited to them. The expressed advantages include cost, no emissions, silent motors and lack of gasoline dependence.
Better Place has been under scrutiny for operating behind schedule, and is sure to receive more attention for launching its commercial phase later than the second quarter target. Founder and CEO Shai Agassi has repeatedly blamed delays on difficulties with building permit applications, and this was the same explanation Marketing and Strategy Manager Ori Lahav provided The Jerusalem Post prior to Sunday’s launch.
“What delayed us a little were the battery stations, the whole subject of Form 4 [building applications]. Israeli bureaucracy really slowed us down,” Lahav said. “The fact is we have already delivered cars to customers. They have made do without a nationwide spread of battery stations, [but] charging points, roadside assistance, everything works. Now the battery stations are our focus, and that is where we are putting most of our efforts.”