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PHOTO CAPTION: Renault Fluence used by Better Place in its unique electric car network.

Better Place Israel: First Field Report

Maurice Picow spots his first Better Place Renault Fluence in Israel, but maintains a 'wait and see' attitude on its financial viability.

Published: 31-May-2012

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.

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