Founder out, more cash in.

That could be the synopsis for the past month of electric-vehicle battery-swapping network Better Place, which booted its founder and is now working on selling about $100 million in company equity by issuing company stock.

Israel Corp., Better Place's biggest shareholder with about 30 percent of the five-year-old company, will likely contribute about $67 million, Reuters reports, citing public filings from Israel Corp. Better Place is looking to expand its current network of battery-swapping stations in Israel, Denmark and Australia.

Early last month, Better Place replaced founder Shai Agassi with Evan Thornley, who had been CEO of Better Place's Australia division. Better Place, which said in late August that it received a 40-million euro ($50 million US) loan from the European Investment Bank, raised about $750 million since its 2007 founding but has also lost more than $400 million since then.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the writing is on the wall it's pretty bad form to seek more money to burn. At the very least diversify so there is a theoretical chance the money is not wasted. They could make quick charging stations, they could operate them for money. They could even develop a car. Anything but the certain death of battery swap.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        @Giza Platea I think that's the business plan. Evan Thornley is a former leftist politician, and is adept at making deals to sell Better Place charging facilities to government funded programs. Abandoning the concept of Battery swapping. and converting Better Place to a charging infrastructure company may account fro the replacement of Shai Aggassi as frontman.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well it's good to see that with Better Place Inc. , Shai Agassi and Evan Thornley, have prevent the fine old tradition of "a sucker born every moment " , alive and kicking for another generation ! Still, it makes a nice change for the European Investment Bank, to be donating (German) money to Israeli flim-flam artists, instead of Greek Shysters !
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't really figure out why just simply plugging your car in is somehow not doable for most people who want an EV or PHEV. Fast charging, battery swaps? Make the cars economical first. Oh, yes, and quit pretending like they are too expensive, because they are not. They are simply priced too high by the car companies.
      Electron
      • 2 Years Ago
      No point throwing more money at a poorly conceived and poorly executed concept. For the concept: Fast charging, not battery switching is undoubtedly the future. Execution: the only model BP has on offer is the rather bland looking ICE platform based Renault Fluence with a battery in the boot and therefore no luggage space to speak of. It drives great, but it's hardly a very practical proposition for most households. The upcoming Renault Zoe seems like a much more clever concept. Underfloor battery and onboard fastcharger rather than quick drop system. Based on this car BP could have offered a more compelling deal installing a very densely (10 miles) inter spaced network of relatively cheap power outlets for 20-30 minute top ups along all major motorways rather than a rather scant network of very expensive switch stations.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        We can have both fast-charging and battery swapping. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. But I think we need a mass market and industry cooperation to get battery-swapping going, so I don't see it being relevant until 15 to 25 years down the road.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      When even EV enthusiasts are very skeptical of your EV company, you probably did not have a good idea.