Renault finds battery swap partner for Australia
As part of the agreement, Renault will ship the Fluence Z.E. with a switchable battery, while Better Place will provide a supporting network of charging services for customers, who will be given a tailored membership package when they buy the car.
The scheme means Fluence Z.E. owners who have exhausted the car’s 185 mile range will be able to swap to a fully charged battery in what the company claims is a shorter time than it takes to refuel a conventional fossil fuel car.
Better Place will begin installing charging points in Australian capital Canberra in late 2011, followed by a progressive rollout that will give the country the largest charging network in the world by 2013.
The deployment is expected to outpace the US and China, giving access not only to public and private charge points but also battery switch stations, navigation services and 24-hour customer service and support. Each membership package has a fixed cost and includes a 100% renewable energy supply.
For Australia, it’s an easy way to cut emissions and fuel use. At present, Australian households use around 45% more petroleum than those in France.
It means when the first Fluence Z.E. models arrive next summer, sold at first only to Canberra residents, there will already be an infrastructure in place. The car gets its nationwide launch later in the year.