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First Electric Vehicle with ‘battery switch’ from Better Place

 Renault have revealed the definitive version of its 100% electric sedan, three-volume Renault Fluence Z.E. Orders opened in September 2011. Prices range between €20,900 and €26,900, depending on local VAT rates and available tax incentive packages, excluding battery.

The world’s first Electric Vehicle with ‘battery switch’ capability has been launched by Renault in Israel, Denmark and Australia, in conjunction with ‘Better Place’, the world’s leading exponent of the ‘swappable battery’ business model for electric vehicles.

The Fluence ZE launch price in Denmark is approximately £22,000, without the battery. This is leased on a monthly basis, allowing the owner to recharge at designated charging stations, or replace the battery, a service that is claimed will take only 5 minutes.

This ‘pay as you go’ business model should transform the market for electric vehicles, which are seen to be too expensive, despite the UK subsidy that reduces the price by approximately £5000. Crucial to the business case, is that the purchase of a diesel or petrol vehicle does not include the fuel that will be consumed during the lifetime of the vehicle’s use, so a similar charging model needs to be invented to make the electric vehicle comparable.

It is hoped that the model currently used by mobile phone companies where the customer rents or buys the handset but pays monthly depending on usage, often with a pre arranged charging plan, will encourage take up of this type of vehicle.

For a full review of the Renault Fluence ZE, click here.

For a video showing the use of the Renault Fluence ZE by Better Place in Denmark. see below.

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