Better Place Loses Out to Rechargeables

YERUSHALAYIM -

Renault, the partner of Israel’s pioneering electric car venture, Better Place, has admitted its strategic error of investing in replaceable batteries, Globes reported.

“When you look at the overall trends, we must conclude that the replaceable batteries are no longer the main track for electric vehicles,” Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn told the Danish “Energi Watch,” in a devastating blow to Better Place. Renault supplies its electric Fluence ZE to Better Place.

“The main trail is flat batteries in cars with charging,” Ghosn added. “We believe that people want flexibility in the technology, and we can see that demand is rechargeable standard batteries.” The marketplace is opting for electric cars which use charging stations, rather than electric cars which rely on battery-swapping stations.

However, Renault will continue providing its electric cars to Better Place.

“There may be cases where people prefer replaceable batteries – as we have tried to include Israel and Denmark,” said Ghosn. “Here, we will continue to offer Fluence replaceable batteries. There may also be large companies, where they have a huge fleet of cars, and do not want to wait for charging. But it will not be the majority of the market, and going forward, our focus is on the charging technology.”

As an example, said Ghosn, “Look at our new Nissan Leaf.”