Gareth Huw Davies

Environment Blog

Renault unveils "battery swap" electric car

April 15, 2010

Here are some details of the electric-powered Renault Fluence ZE, which will debut in Israel.  It will be the car offered by Shai Agassi’s electric car venture Better Place.
The idea is that, in addition to charging the car’s batteries at home, they would be replaced very quickly – in the time it takes to fill up with petrol – at widely available battery changing stations. This should reatly reduce the  risk of   running out of energy, widely seen as one main drawbacks of electric driving.

The Fluence ZE is designed to support three charging methods. The first uses an ordinary household socket, taking 6-8 hours for a full charge. The second method uses a fast industrial charger, which can charge the battery in just 30 minutes.

The third method is Better Place’s battery swapping method. Renault is undertaking to supply 100,000 of the cars to Better Place up to 2016.

Better Place says it has orders for tens of thousands of cars of this type for fleets in Israel, and estimates sales will be in the tens of thousands in the first full year of operation.