Renault to provide Better Place longer range Fluence ZE

Renault Denmark: The carmaker is developing a new and upgraded model of the Fluence ZE with a replaceable battery, which will be launched in September.

Renault SA (Euronext: RNA) will continue to support production and development of the Fluence ZE electric car with the fast battery replacement system for Better Place Inc., said a Renault spokesman in Denmark in response to remarks by Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn that the carmaker would focus on cars with fast rechargeable batteries.

Renault Denmark said that the company was developing a new and upgraded model of the Fluence ZE with a replaceable battery, which would be launched in September. The model will undergo an internal facelift like other Fluence models, as well being equipped with a more efficient battery and better power consumption to extend the car's range between battery charges. The improvements recently appeared in the Leaf electric car, made by Renault's alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. (TSE: 7201), which now has a theoretical range of 200 kilometers.

Better Place is continuing efforts to find a new investor, which is considered critical for the company's survival. Talks are underway with Chinese and other Asian investors, among others. If the talks fail, Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) may assume full control of Better Place, in which it currently owns 30%.

A top motor vehicle industry source told "Globes" that the electric car of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) may be imported to Israel. Tesla is a pioneer in the development and sale of electric cars, launching its premium sedan model, which has a 300-kilometer range, in the US this year. The car's starting price in the US is $60,000. Company representatives recently visited Israel and met with importers, but no deal is likely in the short term.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 9, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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