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Better Place: EV Network for Canberra 2012

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 5th, 2011

Source: Climate Spectator

From “Green Deals: EV Pricing Takes Shape” by Giles Parkinson & Samson Adams:

Electric vehicle network operator Better Place has formally sealed a deal to bring the first switchable battery vehicle, the Renault Fluence ZE, to Australia next year, and to provide a new model for managing the costs of transportation. The deal between Better Place and Renault extends an arrangement in Israel and other countries, where the car manufacturer agrees to import the Fluence and use the Better Place infrastructure to charge the vehicle, as well as the battery swapping stations, which Better Place says will take as little time as it does to fill a car with petrol.

The first cars will be deployed when the Canberra network is launched in early 2012. The pricing arrangements for the five-seater Renault have not yet been announced, but it is expected to be around $30,000 for the car only, comparable with other medium-sized cars. Better Place will then offer a battery leasing arrangement that will include the cost of the battery, access to charging stations at home and in public areas, and the cost of the electricity, as well as navigation services, 24-hour customer service and support.

Better place argues that a “fixed price for mobility” will free car owners from the constant volatility of petrol prices, and the cost or repairs of a vehicle engine with hundreds of moving parts. “When you buy a petrol car you are effectively signing a contract to bring it back to the oil cartel once or twice a week and promise to buy petrol at whatever price they say,” Better Place Australia CEO Evan Thornley said. “Our subscription will cover everything and it will be competitive with petrol.”

It is expected that the Better Place arrangement will be attractive for consumers who currently spend $80 or more a week on petrol. In Israel, the Renault Fluence is being sold for $33,100, with monthly subscription priced at $350 for an annual 23,000km package, or up to $430 for a 30,000km package. The network will be open for other EVs to charge their cars, but Better Place is confident that other manufacturers will eventually produce EVs specially tailored to its network and its rechargeable battery model.

Read the full article on Climate Spectator or visit Better Place Australia.


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