renault fluence ze

Better Place continues to be a bit of a misnomer as issues with the electric-vehicle battery-switching network have delayed Renault's plans to debut its Fluence Z.E. electric vehicle in Australia, Car Advice reports.

Renault, whose EV is designed to allow for battery swapping, was originally slated to debut Down Under by June 2012, is delaying sales because Better Place's network of battery-switching stations were not ready on time. Delays in Better Place's infrastructure in Israel and Denmark are pushing back the Australia dates. A Better Place spokeswoman admitted to Car Advice that Better Place's original deadlines were "ambitious."

As a result, the Renault will start sales in Canberra, its first Australian market, in mid-2013 and will be distributed across Australia by the following year. The Fluence Z.E. is said to have a single-charge range of about 115 miles.

In October, Better Place founder Shai Agassi was pushed out by the company's board of directors and replaced by Evan Thornley, who had been CEO of Better Place Australia. Earlier this month, the Israeli business publication Globes reported that Better Place may fire as many as 200 workers, many of which work on the company's software.

Better Place has been estimated to have lost about $437 million since being founded in 2007. In November, the company announced it would attempt to sell about $100 million in company equity.
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