Renault is set to end its association with Better Place, after the electric vehicle (EV) charging-station supplier filed for liquidation in Israel this week.
Renault and Better Place joined forces in 2008, with plans to sell 100,000 of its Fluence ZE (Zero Emission) EVs throughout Denmark and Israel. In reality, only 1000 units were sold in Israel and 240 in Denmark.
The electric Fluence was also set to be sold in Australia, but the launch was postponed in December last year.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Gilles Normand, head of Renault’s Asia-Pacific operations said that Renault would not abandon its Fluence EV customers in Israel.
“We’re currently working to continue to ensure after-sales services for all the electric cars in Israel, where more than 80 percent of Better Place’s activity takes place,” Mr Normand said.
“The investment in the partnership hasn’t been significant.”
Speaking of Better Place’s demise, CEO Dan Cohen said that the public has been slow to take up EV technology.
“This is a difficult day,” Mr Cohen said.
“Unfortunately, after a year’s commercial operation, it was clear to us that, despite many satisfied customers, the wider public take-up would not be sufficient and that the support from the car producers was not forthcoming.”
Given the plan's reliance on Better Place charging infrastructure, it seems unlikely the Fluence Z.E. will ever come to Australia - although we could still a local debut for the smaller Zoe EV (pictured below).