Renault said that the collapse of the JV aimed at making EVs more appealing, will not make it give up its plans for electric vehicles.
Recently Better Place has filed a motion in a court in Israel to wind up the company. The news came today, May 27th, as the French automaker Renault was preparing la launch the first electric Zoe to telecoms and construction conglomerate Bouygues.
The Renault-Nissan alliance has made massive investments in the EV technology, as CEO Carlos Ghosn expects a surge in electric vehicles, especially in China. Better Place accounts for almost 1% of the alliance’s total EV volumes, according to Gilles Normad, Renault’s Asia-Pacific director.
“Which means that it’s not at all a case of bringing our electric strategy into question,” Normand said.
Renault developed for Better Place the ‘quick drop’ technology, and accounted for only ‘an extremely limited part’ of the 4-billion-euro investment to be made by the alliance in EVs by 2015. Although automakers have offered high incentives, EV sales in the US and Europe are far below expectations, three years after Nissan introduced the Leaf.
Better Place and Renault became partners in 2008, planning to develop an electric car system, which would combine charging terminals with battery swap stations, so that it would increase the range of EVs. The business was to offer 100,000 EVs for Israel and Denmark, but only 900 vehicles are in Israel and 400 in Denmark as demand was not as expected.