Better Place introduces the first electric car, the Renault Fluence Z.E.

In anticipation of commercial launch, Better Place unveiled the membership packages and the price of the electric cars with lithium ion batteries Renault Fluence Z.E. which will go on sale in Israel in August 2011. Better Place offers drivers a comprehensive solution designed to provide customers with the most convenient driving experience available. For the first time, drivers will have a single point of contact for all driving needs. Drivers in Israel will have a fixed, monthly membership plan, eliminating the unpredictable price spikes associated with today’s conventional cars, while offering a total cost savings of up to 20 percent on annual automotive expenses.

The company will also offer a special, one-time package that saves drivers up to 35 percent compared to the expenses of a similar class gasoline powered car. This all inclusive, three year package includes the electric car Fluence Z.E., for 157,500 NIS (€31,775), which includes a free service package for three years, when driving up to 25,000 km per year.

“Better Place is introducing a new solution for Israeli drivers — for the first time offering an alternative to today’s gasoline cars that provides a better driving experience at a highly competitive price. Consumers will be able to be part of a transportation revolution, without sacrificing on cost or comfort,” said Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO, Better Place Israel. "Israeli drivers will be the first to enjoy the benefits of this new, innovative service.”

“Zero emission mobility is a key strategic priority for Renault. Fluence ZE will be the first of four electric cars that Renault will be marketing worldwide. The partnership with Better Place, exclusive importer of Fluence ZE in Israel, is a major pillar of Renault’s electric vehicle strategy: by showing at a large scale that electric vehicle with lithium ion batteries is a viable and attractive alternative to conventional vehicles, Renault and Better Place will give a significant signal to other markets. Today’s event is a very concrete step that brings the deal signed with Better Place to reality. We look forward to seeing the first Fluence ZE delivered to customers in a few months,” said Thierry Koskas, Programme Director, Electric Vehicles, Renault.

Membership Packages, Car and Pricing

Under the Better Place model, drivers buy the car without the battery and sign up for a membership package based on the number of kilometers/miles driven each year. By separating the ownership of the car and the battery, Better Place removes the burdens of cost and acquisition, maintenance, warranty and residual value concerns for the driver. The complete Better Place solution includes:

1. A four year, fixed-price membership package

2. Installation of private charge spot

3. Unlimited access to Better Place’s network of public charge spots

4. Unlimited access to Better Place’s network of automated battery switch stations

5. Personalized energy management and navigation services via on-board and network software

6. Access to an inventory of batteries with a guaranteed service level agreement

7. 24-hour access to customer service and support, roadside assistance

8. Energy usage

This package presents the first, scalable alternative to today’s gasoline powered cars for the mass market. It provides drivers with a cleaner, more comfortable driving experience, while saving double-digit percentages on the comprehensive cost of the car and maintenance.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. offers drivers a spacious, family size, electric car, with quality finishing, unparallel performance and accessories exceeding the standard in the category. The basic accessories for the Fluence Z.E. include: energy management systems operated by a special on-board computer system, advanced navigation system (GPS), online connection between the car, driver and charging infrastructure, a four-year manufacturer warranty, cruise control, socket for external audio devices, rain sensor, automatic headlight activation and more.

The Fluence Z.E. is the first mass-produced car in Israel that does not depend on gasoline for fuel. It is 100 percent electric, and is the only electric car with unlimited range thanks to its ability switch a depleted battery for a full one in less than five minutes. The car has a driving range of up to 185 km between charges (based on manufacturer specifications and European Standard tests, NEDC).

In Israel, the Renault Fluence Z.E. will be priced starting at 122,900 NIS. The Renault Fluence Z.E. will go on sale in Israel in August 2011.

The Better Place membership packages provide a comprehensive solution that eliminates range limitations thanks to a national deployment of charge spots and battery switch stations. The company will offer Israeli customers a choice of several fixed-price subscription packages based on individual driving needs.

Better Place’s complete solution, the service packages and the electric car, lower annual vehicle expenses by approximately 20 percent. The savings is driven by the prices of the Better Place subscription package coupled with savings on annual insurance and maintenance costs.

Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia.

With its partner Nissan, Renault aims to become the leader in zero-emission in use mobility, namely the first car manufacturer to sell a complete range of electric passenger cars and light commercial vehicles at an affordable price for the greatest number. This year will be a decisive chapter in Renault history with the launch of three electric models, Fluence Z.E., Kangoo Z.E. and Twizy, followed by ZOE in 2012.

The Renault group, with more than 350 industrial and commercial sites in 118 countries, designs, develops, manufactures and sells a broad range of innovative, safe and environmentally respectful vehicles. Renault pursues its strategy of profitable growth under the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors brands. The Renault group employs 121 000 people worldwide, reported a net revenue of €38,971 million and has sold more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2010.