Renault teams up with Better Place for Australian launch of Fluence ZE
Building on their existing partnerships, the two firms have signed a new deal to market what they reckon to be the world’s first mass market zero-emission car with switchable battery in the region. This enables drivers to exchange their empty battery for a fully charged one at Better Place’s fully automated battery switch stations. The whole process is said to take less time than filling up with conventional fuel.
Under the agreement, Better Place will provide the electric car charging network and services through a membership package. This provides unlimited access to batteries, the network of public charge spots and battery switch stations, and personal charge spots at home or work. The membership also includes supply of 100% renewable electricity, personalised energy management and navigation services via in-car and network software and 24-hour access to customer service and support. A key benefit is said to be the fixed price, which saves drivers from the volatility of petrol and diesel prices.
Better Place says that it will offer a widespread infrastructure, which will start off in Canberra in late 2011, with a progressive national rollout to follow. The firm reckons that by 2013 Australia will have the largest electric car charge network in the world, outpacing current deployment plans in countries including the US and China.