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Has Israeli firm cracked electric car angst?

There are around 400 electric Renault Fluence ZEs on the road now in Israel
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The BBC’s Hugh Sykes tests out a new electric car that allows Israeli drivers to zip all over the country, without worrying about flat batteries.

I wish I’d thought of it. It’s so obvious.

One of the greatest mental barriers to buying an all-electric car is what is known as “range anxiety”.

When the battery runs down, it can take anything up to eight hours to re-charge it. So you’re stuck.

The Renault Fluence ZE (zero emissions) has a removable battery which can be swapped for one that has been recharged.

For anyone who cooks with gas from a cylinder of butane in the kitchen, it is a familiar principle. When the gas is running down, you do not wait to fill it up – you change it for a full one.

An Israeli company called Better Place is doing exactly that with the lithium-ion battery in the Renault Fluence. Their zero emission model is manufactured in alliance with Better Place and Nissan.

Switch points
There is a network of dozens of “switch stations” around Israel – they look like a car wash but without nozzles or brushes.


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