Electric Renault Fluence Around 3000 Euros Less Than Petrol Version: Better Place Photo:
Mike Stevens | Sep, 28 2009 | 4 Comments

BETTER PLACE CEO Shai Agassi said this week that the electric version of the Renault Fluence, which Better Place will sell from its own retail points, will sell for 3000 to 5000 euros ($5,075-$8450) less than the conventional petrol version.

Mr Agassi's comments follow news that Renault and electric vehicle service provider Better Place have inked a deal that will see 100,000 electric Renaults offered in Denmark and Israel, two of Better Place's strongest markets.

Better Place - Israel

Speaking with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Mr Agassi said that although Renault has not yet settled on a price for the Fluence, the electric version will be significantly cheaper thanks to government incentives.

"Renault has not set prices yet, but the e-car will be 3,000 to 5,000 euros cheaper than the model with a gasoline engine," Shai Agassi told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Governments give incentives for electronic vehicles, that's how we can sell the car at cheaper prices."

Buyers will save money not only because of the government incentives, but also because the expensive battery packs - potentially costing as much as $16,000 (around $2000 more than a Hyundai Getz) - will be leased by Fluence owners rather than bought.

Using a distance-based model, battery packs will be leased at around 250 euros per month for motorists covering up to 30,000km annually - about the same as the cost of running the equivalent petrol model.

Fluence owners will also be able to pay a flat rate of around 350 euros per month to cover unlimited kilometres.

Mr Agassi believes that the profit generated by the battery leasing programme will far exceed the cost to Better Place for each lithium-ion battery pack.


100,000 Fluence Sales By 2016

According to Better Place founder and CEO Shai Agassi, some 50 companies in Israel plan to add Better Place's specialised Renaults to their fleets.

"We have pledges from 50 firms in Israel that plan to replace company cars with 35,000 electric cars starting in 2011," Mr Agassi told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

To meet what it expects to be a huge demand, Better Place has committed to purchasing 100,000 Renault Fluence cars, based on the concept revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week.

The Renault Fluence, an electric vehicle based on the same technology used in the Nissan LEAF, is expected to achieve a driving range of 160km before it must be recharged.

Better Place's charging systems will allow the Fluence's batteries to be fully charged in four to eight hours, or a 'Quick Drop' station can be used to swap in a full battery in under 5 minutes.

Better Place - Israel

A quick charge can be accomplished in 20 minutes, returning 80 percent of the battery's charge.

With charging and battery-swap infrastructure in place in both Israel and Denmark, Better Place expects to have 100,000 cars on the road by 2016.

The electric cars will be sold in Israel through Better Place's own retail points and at certain Renault dealerships.

Better Place Australia, the local arm of Mr Agassi's electric vehicle services company, recently announced a deal with the city of Canberra to establish a similar network in the nation's capital.

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