From: Maurice Picow, Green Prophet
Published May 31, 2012 08:55 AM

Better Place Electric Car Spotting

More than five months have passed since Shai Agassi's Better Place electric car company put its first 100 Renault Fluence EV on Israeli roads. The event was covered with a certain amount of local fanfare and only afterwards was it revealed that a number of these cars were sent to major rental car companies for their use and not to private buyers. That was obvious to be expected, as the company's EV car debut in the country where the Better Place electric car idea began is still in its trial period.


Financial losses during the first year of operation for any new venture is also something not out of the ordinary; and when it was later reported that the company has reported revenue losses of millions from slow sales of these cars, this must also be taken in stride by the company who has just begun to establish its battery recharge and replacement network in a few selected locations if the country.

After having visited the Better Place Test Drive and Education Center just north of Tel Aviv in April, 2010, I still had reservations about the idea of a country-wide EV car network succeeding in Israel.

These feelings have been influenced by issues involving electric cars not only in a small country like Israel but in other countries like Denmark; where Better Place's battery charging and replacement stations have still had only a marginal impact on the EV market potential in Denmark.

In the aftermath of last January's launch of 100 Renault Fluence EV Cars in Israel, I had still yet to see one of these cars actually driving down the roads; and have closely looked at every Renault Fluence car on the roads to see whether they were running on electricity and not fossil fuel.

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Image credit: Better Place

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