Better Place, which is trying to build out an infrastructure for electric vehicles based on the cell phone model of leased batteries that are swapped out, says it's vehicles have surpassed one million kilometers (625,000 miles) driven by using battery-swapping stations in Israel and Denmark.
The company, which has an agreement with French automaker Renault to use its Fluence Z.E. EVs for the project, is delivering about five new cars per day to Israeli customers for the purpose of trying out the process. Better Place operates 55 switching stations in Israel and Denmark that have processed about 15,000 battery swaps.
As of late January, Better Place, which was founded in 2007, had raised about $750 million in funding. At that time, Bloomberg reported that the company would likely go public within two years to get more funding in order to expand its battery-swapping infrastructure as more people buy electric vehicles. Read more in the press release below.
May 30, 2012
Continues to Invest in the Network as May Deliveries in Israel Reach 5 Cars per Day
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Better Place today announced that the company has logged its first one million electric kilometers from the electric cars operating on its charging infrastructure in Israel and Denmark. The company reported that it invested an additional $96 million in the quarter, a majority of which was dedicated to development and deployment of the Battery Switch networks in Israel and Denmark. Better Place also announced that in May it delivered 110 cars to new customers in Israel, averaging five cars per day.
With a total of 55 Battery Switch Stations in both countries in the final stages of testing and certification, following 15,000 switches of batteries in the Battery Switch Stations, the company has expanded deliveries of the first Renault Fluence ZE electric cars with switchable batteries and Better Place mobility services to customers after successfully completing four months of network testing with employees, friends and family.
Battery Switch Stations that have completed their tests are starting to open to first customers in Israel, making Israel the first country in the world where a pure electric car is not limited by the range of its battery. In the coming weeks, the company expects to see additional Switch Stations come online as tests are completed. Nationwide coverage is expected in both markets by the end of the third quarter.
"We're excited to be delivering our services to our first set of customers," said Shai Agassi, founder and CEO, Better Place. "Step by step we're completing final tests on our system and scaling our network, the delivery of cars, and the number of kilometers driven. I'm delighted to see cars going to our members who are helping us change the world. Change takes time, and I am thankful for the extremely supportive Better Place community who has cheered us on along the way."
The company expects to continue to make additional investments in network deployment in Israel and Denmark during the second and third quarters of this year with the majority of the investment incurred by the end of the second quarter. At the same time, revenues from kilometers driven on its first two networks will begin to grow as commercial operations expand throughout this year. The company's operations in Australia will begin Battery Switch Station deployment in Canberra in the second half of this year.
"Our Board believes that Better Place is uniquely positioned to unlock the mass market potential for affordable electric driving," said Idan Ofer, Chairman of the Better Place Board of Directors. "With the network in place, the Better Place team is delivering on the promise of bringing an unmatched experience for electric mobility. As Chairman and proud Better Place member, I've seen first hand that this company is indeed delivering on its promise. The Board continues to enthusiastically support Better Place as they go to market."
Better Place is backed by a world-class group of investors including HSBC and Israel Corp. that are fully dedicated to the company's long-term success and view Better Place as a long-term, transformational investment in their portfolio. The company has raised more than $750 million of equity financing to date.
In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words "expect," "possible," "believe," "continue," "may," "will," "positioned", "promised" or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to complete testing and certification as expected; our ability to expand commercial operations and increase revenue; our ability to offer nationwide coverage in Israel and Denmark in the expected time frame; our ability to move forward with Battery Switch Station deployment in other countries; and our ability to attract new customers. Better Place disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
About Better Place
Better Place is the leading global provider of electric car networks that enables the mass market adoption of electric cars through an innovative battery switch model that makes driving electric cars more affordable, convenient and sustainable than today's petrol-based cars. Better Place owns and operates a network of battery switch stations and public/personal charge spots, along with the supply of batteries that power the cars, to provide drivers with instant range extension and the convenience to drive, switch and go across an entire region. Where possible, Better Place uses renewable sources of energy to deliver fully zero emissions driving. The World Economic Forum has named Better Place a "Global Growth Company Industry Shaper" for its innovative approach in advancing the global switch to electric cars. Check out www.betterplace.com