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.  

Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…
Cars

With a 48-inch screen, this futuristic dashboard is like nothing else

Chinese startup Byton traveled to CES 2019 to unveil a new version of its electric concept that's closer to series production. It has the largest screen ever fitted to a production vehicle.
Cars

Rocket technology will allow the 2020 Tesla Roadster to hover above the road

Tesla has officially unveiled the second-generation Roadster. With a 0-to-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, the Roadster could be the quickest production car in the world. It's is scheduled to arrive in 2020.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.