Solar pioneer "Captain Sunshine," aka Yosef Abramowitz, has failed in his bid to take over bankrupt company Better Place, which specializes in electric vehicle charging and battery swaps. Abramowitz, who built Israel's first commercial solar field about two years ago, failed to make a monthly payment of $1 million on August 25 to Better Place's liquidator.

Better Place is now going to Success Parking, an Israeli parking garage company, which lost out to Abramowitz last month. Success Parking led a consortium that included Car Charging Group. Abromowitz had agreed to pay $4.9 million for Better Place's assets and another $6.9 million for Better Place Switzerland's intellectual property. Tzachi Merkur, CEO of Success Parking, will only be paying about $3 million for Better Place. That's coming from reports from The Marker, which does not mention whether that includes assets and intellectual property.

Last month, Abramowitz won the bidding for Better Place in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Electric Transport in Israel. Captain Sunshine said there was another side to the story – the liquidator didn't provide lists of drivers to bill for using the battery-swap stations – and the needed revenue couldn't be generated. Abramowitz also said that Israel's Transportation Ministry wouldn't release 350 Better Place cars held at its port unless he purchased an import license.

Better Place and its founder CEO Shai Agassi, had high hopes for Israel coming through for the battery-swap innovator. Now, it's not looking so good.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Spec
      • 4 Months Ago
      The swap stations are going to be turned into parking lots. LOL. "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot!"
      Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago
      Tesla is proving that the Supercharger network and a big battery model works. I'm not sure why they are wasting their time with the swapping stuff.
      Giza Plateau
      • 4 Months Ago
      I guess he saw the light
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Months Ago
      @ Letstakeawalk I suspect Tesla's battery swapping proposals, which suddenly became revived at the time Elon Musk made his pitch to the Texas legislature, are a political ploy. More to do with shoring up his argument that Tesla's technology is unique, and requires a level of service and investment economically unsuited to the conventional dealer distribution model, than instituting a serious battery swapping network.
      markrogo
      • 4 Months Ago
      Tesla's battery space pricing will be based on the current price of gas, so anyway.....
      Jim
      • 4 Months Ago
      In a dawning era of fast chargers and advanced battery chemistry, battery swaps are about as useful as buggy whips (my apologies to the Amish).
      Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago
      I guess he 'saw the light'. :) High speed charging and bigger batteries will make this unneeded and very expensive (land, taxes, employees, construction costs, battery costs, logistics,etc...). Unless you are a taxi company...I don't see it.
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Months Ago
      Hmmm...perhaps a fast food outlet with car wash, and the rest of the area turned into a parking lot ? Although there's some dispute about the number of outlets, $5 million seems cheap for the real estate, and a $6 million tax deduction. An ignoble end to a massive fantasy.
      eric.sales
      • 4 Months Ago
      Tesla added their swap'rs with just a lil slot on the ground that you roll over. Faster, Cheaper and Better than that hot mess Murica!
        Letstakeawalk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @eric.sales
        Tesla's stations cost $500k a pop, to build, and a swap costs $60-$80 - which is quite a bit more than a tank of gas currently costs in many places... http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/20/tesla-shows-off-a-90-second-battery-swap-system-wants-it-at-supercharging-stations-by-years-end/ Not that I'm doubting Tesla, they've certainly shown they know how to make things work according to plan. I'm just not sure what their actual plan regarding battery swapping is.