Under the agreement, the French automaker will import the first electric car equipped with a switchable battery, the Renault Fluence Z.E. into Australia, and Better Place will provide the electric car charging network and services that make the car more convenient and affordable for the mass market.
Renault and Better Place will commence a joint marketing campaign in the lead up to launch in 2012. The cars will arrive in Australia by the middle of 2012 for the first customers in Canberra, with general sales due to commence later in the year. Customers will buy the Fluence Z.E. from Renault and sign up for a Better Place membership package that is tailored for their driving needs.
Better Place is building and operating the first fully integrated electric car charging network in Australia, and it will be the infrastructure provider for the innovative Fluence Z.E.
Better Place has announced its plans to begin the deployment of its infrastructure in Canberra, Australia’s capital city, starting in late 2011, with a progressive national rollout to follow. By 2013 Better Place will give Australia the largest electric car charge network in the world, which is expected to outpace current deployment plans in market-leading countries including the US and China.
The Better Place membership provides unlimited access to batteries, the network of public charge spots and battery switch stations, and personal charge spots at home or work. The membership also includes supply of 100% renewable electricity, personalised energy management and navigation services via in-car and network software and 24-hour access to customer service and support. The membership packages give drivers a fixed price for their mobility, freeing them form the constant volatility of petrol prices.
Customers will be able to purchase Fluence Z.E. in selected Renault dealers, as well as through Better Place Experience Centres. Those centres will provide visitors with a full experience of electric mobility. As for maintenance, most Renault dealers will provide after sales for Fluence Z.E., both for regular service and specific repairs.