Carlos Ghosn sort of hinted that this day would come. And the Better Place bankruptcy didn't help either. For a variety of reasons, Renault has stopped making the Fluence Z.E. in Turkey. The car is still alive, but it's no longer Renault's flagship EV sedan.
Fans of the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons (there are more of us than you think) know that three is the magic number, and that's the approach a new UK carsharing club is taking with its launch. The E-Car Club bills itself as the UK's "first entirely electric pay-per-use car club" and it debuted earlier this month at the University of Hertfordshire, about 20 miles north of London.
The world's biggest proponent of electric vehicles appears to be exchanging his support for the concept of swappable batteries. Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says the Renault Fluence ZE will likely be the only model from the French automaker to have the ability for its battery to be changed out at battery-recharging stations such as the ones proposed by Better Place.
There's no quicker way to jump-start plug-in vehicle sales than a big order from the government. When it comes to Renault, France certainly is obliging. France's Union des Groupements d'Achats Publics (UGAP) is ordering 2,000 (!) Renault Zoe electric vehicles and another 100 Fluence Z.E. EVs during the next three years.
Better Place continues to be a bit of a misnomer as issues with the electric-vehicle battery-switching network have delayed Renault's plans to debut its Fluence Z.E. electric vehicle in Australia, Car Advice reports.
Better Place waited until its fleet of Renault Fluence plug-in vehicles was just about officially, commercially operational in Israel before letting customers know that the cost to drive the vehicles will be less than expected. Better Place's official launch, which happened this past weekend, means that the cars are now available to both fleets and private individuals. Better Place is also offering consumers a new lower-price plan that is "a simpler and better deal," writes Haaretz, because the
Those who scoff at the metric system may belittle any publicity related to kilometers covered instead of miles, but we're still pretty impressed.
If you want to try out one of Better Place's electric vehicles, you'd have to move to a country where the project is establishing its infrastructure or else wait for it to come to your neighborhood. At least that's how it was looking until now. Because the latest announcement from the electric-vehicle startup has us booking our tickets for Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.
Renault Fluence Z.E. – Click above for high-res image gallery
Renault Fluence Z.E. concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
Renault Zero Emission line-up - Click for high-res image gallery