As we get closer to spring, we may also be getting closer to some actual launchings of electric car networks, including that of the much talked about Better Place EV company, headed by Shai Agassi, who recently remarked that electric cars are not getting a good enough tax incentive in the UK. They appear to be getting a much better one in Denmark, which is about to begin selling the Renault Fluence electric model using Better Place’s battery exchange technology. A recent article in Globes financial news site, reported that the Better Place cars will be selling in Denmark for 27,500 Euro, which is virtually a “tax free” price for Danish purchasers.
The Globes article compared the selling price of these cars in Denmark to the proposed price in Israel, when finally made available in the country of Agasi’s birth. In Israel, the cars will be selling for around NIS 125,000 or EURO 25,000 including 60% government taxes. Danish Better Place subscribers who drive 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles) a year will pay 400 Euro (NIS 2,000) a month, while subscribers who drive less than 20,000 kilometers a year (12,500 miles) will pay 199-249 Euro a month to the Better Place network. The drivers will also be subject to a one-time fee of 1,340 Euro for the battery charging post will be installed at their home.
Better Place’s battery exchange station network is not entering Denmark with a splash, however, as it was reported earlier that only about 10 battery pack exchange stations will be in place when the cars begin selling in that country.
This doesn’t mean that the electric car concept won’t work in Denmark, as due to the very high taxes levied on fossil fuel driven cars by the Danish government (180% of the car’s pre-tax value), driving a tax-free electric model can definitely have it’s advantages there. Electric cars are being promoted in that country by people like Martin Thomson, whose website easyecar.com regularly mentions electric and hybrid models which he personally takes on test drives. He has test driven the Better Place cars, as well as a variety of others.
He plans to check out the new VW Bulli electric minibus, which was featured at the recent Geneva Auto Show.
Following the Better Place network debut in Denmark, and as reported in Globes, Better Place is expected to publish its Israeli prices in the second half of 2011. The company is planning leasing options together with GE Capital, the financing arm of General Electric, which is expected to finance the purchase of batteries against a lien on the revenue from subscribers. Since Denmark is also a small country, Israeli auto reporters will be waiting news the car’s Danish debut to see how Agasi’s concepts will work in Israel, which has a much different climate and car driving mentality.
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