With Business Plan In Free Fall, Better Place Cuts Pricing

5 years ago by Jay Cole 4

Better Place Battery Swapping Station In Israel

Given the void of customers willing to sign up to Better Place’s  (formerly Project Better Place) battery swapping scheme, Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle start up has slashed pricing on its various plans, and has also began an advertising campaign behind the Renault Fluence ZE in hopes to stimulate business.

It is hoped that two simpler to understand, and cheaper payment structures will help the company gain a foothold in its primary market in Israel.

The new plans are (numbers converted to USD):

  • Advanced Payment – 14 cents/km for 50,000 to 80,000 km over three years  vs. the old plan of  4 years and a minimum of 80,000 km
  • Pay As You Go – – 17.5 cents/km, with a minimum charge based on at least 1,000 km driven per month vs the old plan that charged between $275 and $400 a month for 20,000-30,000 km per year

    Renault Fleunce ZE Getting Receiving A Charge

Of course, that doesn’t actually get you a car, the  Better Place supplied Fluence ZE costs between  $30,500 and $32,000 after applicable tax breaks in the country.  And if you want to sell your car with a battery, you’ll find that it is the property of BP, but you can buy that for an additional $19,300 dollars.

Better Place has already installed over 1,500 charging stations for members to use, but will still only have 38 operation battery changing stations by the fall, after five years being in operation.   BP has sold a little more than 250 cars this year and currently has about a dozen operating swap stations.

To illustrate why (in our opinion) the Better Place concept makes absolutely no sense, the Renault ZE can be had for $27,300 (£17,495) in the UK  after incentives, with a battery hire from $118 (£76),   Flexible options from Renault directly allow for between 10,000 and 30,000 km a year, and for lease terms as short as 12 months.

So, is all that extra cost and hassle from Better Place worth 38 battery swapping stations?  We think not.

By our calculations you could be your own “swap station” and purchase two Fluence ZEs straight from Renault and end up paying less by the time all things are considered.

Video Of A Better Place Battery Swap:

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4 responses to "With Business Plan In Free Fall, Better Place Cuts Pricing"

  1. SteveT says:

    How can better place have ever succeeded? they are like some strange 3rd party in the middle of the buying transaction that offers nothing-but takes a big cut, like a insurance company trying reverse sell a mortgage to old people

    1. Open-Mind says:

      No kidding!

      Their battery subscription price is crazy expensive, and if they fold (taking their batteries) your EV becomes a giant lawn ornament. Also, good luck getting the battery to swap properly during winter when the car’s bottom is a block of frozen road grunge.

      Yet, every PBP story I’ve seen seems to attract at least one fanatical blogger that supports them. Wonder who will find this blog. 😉

  2. ffinder says:

    Of course Better Place will succeed!

    1-Better Place sells electric cars with unlimited range that in Israel are cheaper than gasoline cars.

    2-Monthly membership to Better Place is half of what Israelis pay for gasoline every month.

    1-IN ISRAEL:

    The Chevrolet Volt costs 200,000 shekels ($52,890)

    The Prius Plug-in costs 173,000 shekels ($45,750)
    (and the Nissan LEAF is estimated to cost a little more)

    vs

    The Better Place Renault Fluence ZE costs:122,900 shekels ($32,500)

    Source PDF:

    FLUENCE ZE electric family car most cost-effective.

    http://repocorp.betterplace.com/Lists/MediaServer_Documents/electric%5B1%5D.pdf

    Youtube Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK-24vn-jxE

    Agassi said, “Israelis can take a car that is priced less than a Toyota Corolla,
    is better than a Toyota Camry, has unlimited capability, and is
    faster than an Audi A6. Most Israelis want such a car.

    http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000684196&fid=1725

    Plus because you don’t own the battery you don’t worry that
    the resale value of your car will fall dramatically
    when new EV’s appear with cheaper batteries and longer range.

    Or because you don’t own the battery you don’t worry about the range of your EV
    getting shorter and shorter because of battery degradation.
    You just go to a battery switch station and swap it!

    2–IN ISRAEL:

    ..He added that in his previous gasoline driven car, he spent an average of NIS 2,000 ($530) per month on fuel costs. With the Better Place car, he presently spends NIS 1,000 per month (half the fuel) on a monthly service “membership” charge..

    http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/05/better-place-electric-car-spotting/

    Membership includes the following:

    Unlimited access to the Better Place network of public charge spots and battery switch stations, electricity usage, personalized energy management and navigation services via in-car and network software, an inventory of batteries with a guaranteed service level agreement, 24-hour access to customer service and support, breakdown service, anti-theft satellite tracking and a private charge spot.

    ff

  3. Stuart22 says:

    Well Open-Mind, it looks like your prediction was spot on.