06 Jul 2011:
New Electric Car in Israel Includes Battery Swap Subscriptions
A California-based start-up will begin selling electric cars in Israel next month that include a subscription package for a leased battery and the costs of recharging the vehicle. Instead of owning the batteries, consumers will be able to purchase a subscription for a certain number of kilometers per year, much like cellphone owners purchase their minutes. The company, Better Place, hopes the strategy will help the industry overcome one of the major challenges facing widespread adoption of electric cars: the limited range of existing battery technology. Better Place will sell an electric sedan, made by Renault, that will have a range of about 100 miles per charge; for longer trips, car owners will be able to exchange batteries at swap stations located across Israel. One package includes the cost of the vehicle and 25,000 miles per year for three years for $46,000. According to Better Place, that subscription would end up costing consumers 35 percent less than purchasing and fueling a gas-powered vehicle over three years. The subscriptions also include the installation of home charging stations.