Leading car developer of low-emission vehicles, Renault announced yesterday that it plans to produce tens of thousands of vehicles from 2011 in the Danish market every year. Initially, Better Place plans to market it in Denmark and Israel.
The French car maker is developing three models namely a saloon, a compact city car, and a van. A car will cost up to 200,000 kroner (£23,080) in Denmark.
According to Jens Moberg, Chief Executive of Better Place Denmark, (the Danish subsidiary of the transport company developing the lithium batteries fitted in the vehicles) “We expect the production of electric vehicles to be in the tens of thousands per year for the Danish market from 2011″.
He said that Better Place was also discussing the scheme with a number of European countries, including France, to expand the scheme further.
In order to access the batteries, electric car drivers will have to sign up for a monthly subscription with Better Place. According to Moberg, “It will be like signing up for a mobile phone contract”.
In further conversation, he did not reveal the cost of the subscription; however, he disclosed that it would require a cost of €8,000 (£6,900) to manufacture batteries in 2011-12. He continued to say that he anticipates the cost will reduce once the production expands.
According to reports, drivers can recharge the batteries at home for these new EVs. However, it will require several hours; so they can simply switch batteries at a “swap station,” which will just take three to five minutes. There will be around 100 battery swap stations in Denmark to make the task easier. The automaker plans to increase the number of stations post-production.
Reports also reveal that drivers will also be able to top up their batteries at charge spots installed on streets and at car parks. In fact, Copenhagen has begun work to install about 60 by the time of the UN Climate Change Summit in December. In the summit, world leaders will attempt to broker a worldwide deal in order to reduce carbon emissions.
In the conference, a number of electric Renault cars will be made available to drive. Furthermore, as electric car parking is free around Copenhagen, so, people buying these cars will not have to worry about paying for parking.