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Renault reaffirms commitment to EVs despite partnering tech service company filing for bankruptcy

Renault-Nissan Better Place PartnershipThe bankruptcy of the electric battery exchange company, Better Place, doesn’t seem to be deterring Renault’s plans for electric cars.

According to published reports, despite the French carmaker’s partnership with the Israeli-based company, Renault still seems as committed as ever to EVs.  

Gilles Normand, Renault’s Asia-Pacific director, told Reuters Renault’s venture with Better Place only represented one percent of the carmaker’s electric car volume.

“Which means that it’s not at all a case of bringing our electric strategy into question,” Normand said.

According to Reuters, Renault-Nissan alliance chief, Carlos Ghosn, has invested more of the companies’ cash into electric vehicle technology than any other mass-market carmaker betting on a growing demand for EVs, especially in China.  

 Launched last year, Better Place enabled customers to buy the 2012 Renault Fluence ZE (the only vehicle offered) and lease the battery pack from the company, as indicated in an article by Green Car Reports.

Under the business model, customers paid a set fee for up to a certain number of miles or kilometers covered annually, recharging the cars on charging stations installed at their homes and businesses by Better Place as well as on a network of public charging spots.

For longer trips, customers were directed to a switching station where they could swap out a depleted battery pack for a freshly charged one using an automated machine, which was seen as major benefit in helping to address concerns about an electric vehicle’s range when traveling longer distances.

The service attracted about 2,000 users when in operation, according to Green Car Reports.