As part of the unveiling, a special announcement was made at the show with a partnership with Renault, GE and Better Place Australia. GE said it is aiming to buy at least 1000 electric vehicles by 2015. This kicks off a commitment by the company which was made in late 2010 that hopes to see total worldwide purchases span out to 25,000.
Ben Waters, director of ecomagination GE Australia & New Zealand, annouced,
"GE is a strong supporter of electric vehicles. In November 2010, we committed to purchasing 25,000 electric vehicles globally by 2015, the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment. In Australia, this means we will buy at least 1000 electric vehicles by that time. We look forward to being an early adopter of electric vehicles in this country."
The Renault Fluence Z.E. electric vehicle will help to increase Australia's EV population when it is launched during the middle of next year. It's powered by an electric motor producing 70kW of power and 226Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is rated at around nine seconds while the top speed is limited to 135km/h. It features, for the first time on an EV, a swappable lithium-ion battery.
Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia, said at the show,
"Zero-emissions electric cars are now a real choice for Australians as we begin the mass transition from petrol to electric, with appealing cars and a comprehensive charge network that delivers convenience and affordability to customers that is equal to or better than petrol.“The economic fundamentals make the move to electric inevitable. As petrol prices continue to rise over time and battery prices continue to fall, this compelling logic will accelerate the transition to zero-emissions electric cars on Australian roads."The transition begins with Better Place’s national charge network rollout which starts from Canberra later this year. From the middle of 2012 the first mass market cars with unlimited range, the Renault Fluence Z.E., arrive on our shores. A progressive national infrastructure rollout will give Australia the largest electric car charging network anywhere in the world by the end of 2013."
Mr Hocevar says the partnership is working towards bringing Australia to the forefront of the electric vehicle transition from the internal combustion types.
"We are excited to be partnering with GE and Renault, two companies who are leading the world in their commitment to zero emissions driving. Together, Better Place, GE and Renault will make electric vehicles a driving force in this country."