Better Place Electric-Car Service Delays Australia Rollout

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Facelifted 2013 Renault Fluence electric sedan

Facelifted 2013 Renault Fluence electric sedan

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The Better Place battery swapping saga continues, as partner Renault has delayed the roll-out off its electric Fluence sedan.

Renault Australia announced the indefinite postponement, as it waits for Better Place to establish a broader and more practically viable network of swapping stations.

Car Advice reports that Australia's battery-swapping service was set to roll out during 2012, but hold-ups in the company's home markets of Israel and Denmark have backed up the Australian introduction.

That could mean delays of another six to 12 months down under.

Spokeswoman Felicity Glennie-Holmes admitted the initial date, 12-18 months behind the other services, was "ambitious".

She attributes some of the delays to unexpected issues with some aspects of the roll-out, but promises "good coverage across the metropolitan areas" once the service is up and running.

Renault has described the delays as disappointing, but says it remains committed to Better Place and the battery-swapping concept.

The car is now expected to launch in the second half of 2013, with full Australian availability in 2014.


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Comments (3)
  1. This has to effect Renault recouping its investment in designing the electric Fluence and manufacturing infrastructure? A lengthily delay also make a vehicle model appear dated when it does roll-out, something that could impact future demand.

    With real world data showing owners charging at home a fix battery model could be a possible option? Expect Renault, and particularly Better Place see this option as introducing an unwanted competitor to a new and unproven market.

    Guessing there is also great deal of risk management in deciding to roll-out limited numbers of a vehicle to a market. Costs of having to support sales, maintenance, etc. vs. the costs of delaying roll-out. Either way, sakes are high!

  2. Renault have already dropped battery swapping in the first dedicated electric car, the Zoe, so I suspect they have already given up on Better Place unofficially.

  3. Forget it, people never will swap batteries.

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