Aside from all the technical issues, there have also been commercial questions about exactly how Better Place's battery swapping program would work. With Renault and Better Place finally getting ready to launch electric vehicles in Israel and Denmark early in 2011, the fog is starting to lift.
For the new Fluence Z.E. sedan, for example, Renault will be offering several purchase lease options. In Denmark, customers will be able to either purchase or lease a Fluence with a battery directly from Renault. If they choose that option, they will have to rely on plugs to charge the car and won't be able to take advantage of battery swapping. Customers who want to do quick battery changes at a Better Place station will have buy the car alone from Renault and then get a separate lease on the battery direct from Better Place.
The second Renault electric vehicle available at launch will be the Kangoo Z.E. van which will not have the so-called "quick-drop" battery. The vans will only be available from Renault and will require plugging in to charge.