Tennyson said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but when it comes to affection towards the dearly departed Better Place battery-swapping technology, Israeli and Danish drivers of plug-in vehicles may beg to differ. Those two countries were the first markets for the company, which went out of business in May after burning through about $850 million over a five-year period. And now, drivers in those countries say the plug-in vehicle movement has been set further back then if the company would've never existed in the first place, according to Plug In Cars.

Israeli drivers say Better Place's battery-swapping stations were shut down and its charging spots were disconnected, forcing drivers of electric vehicles like the Renault Fluence Z.E. to buy gas-powered vehicles to get by. And in Denmark, there are also a minimal number of charging stations in existence, while the government won't provide incentives for plug-in hybrids (only pure-electric vehicles), further hampering any efforts for that country to gain a plug-in groundswell.

Better Place has made quite a mess since going out of business. This summer, the solar pioneer "Captain Sunshine," aka Yosef Abramowitz, was set to buy the company's assets for $12 million but that fell through. Then, EV Net Group was supposed to buy the company for the low low price of $505,000 but, dang it, it missed a payment in September, causing the acquisition to be voided. The company is now being parted-out, which could get interesting.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Baldur Norddahl
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am from Denmark. This story is rubbish. Better Place build 18 battery swap stations in Denmark, but they also build 770 public chargers. These were sold to German energy company EON and are still available. In addition competing company Clever have about 130 public chargers and are building 100 more. Plus Tesla are building their supercharger network here as well. Denmark is not a large country. We are 5 million people and most of the country fits in a box 300 x 300 km in size. You can easily drive anywhere in an EV and top up using quick charge on your way. It is true that not a lot of EVs have been sold here. This is largely due to the popularity of micro cars such as VW UP, which sells for about USD 16,600. Compare this to the new VW e-UP which sells for USD 34,300. A Nissan Leaf is USD 46,800.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Baldur Norddahl
        Yeah I was wondering why you can't just use it as a plug-in car even if you can't battery swap any more.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who are we kidding?! With close to $100 million invested in BetterPlace through Dong Energy in Denmark, our neighbor country Sweden, with no political focus on e-mobility, has twice as many registered electric vehicles as in Denmark! Of course BetterPlace set the development for electric vehicles proliferation back by a large margin in Denmark and in general. There is no doubt about it. Their unfulfilled visions and lies, to cover the shortcomings, have done a lot of damage. The amount of money, which followed this trail of deceit, is astounding, but goes to show just how much some people are willing to believe. More surprising are the people, who were in charge of the investments in BetPlace from Danish Dong Energy company as well as gullible Danish politicians. No-one stepped up to the plate and called the kettle black, in spite of knowing the obvious deceit. That's human I guess, whoever steps up might become the fall guy too, so better stay clear and let the atrocity continue. Either way, now the market can begin for real - also in Denmark. Stay tuned.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Better Place was an absurd idea from the beginning. It was only the fever and excitement of the explosion of "green investment'' that resulted in a great many experienced business people,(who should have known better) investing over a billion dollars in a project with no chance of ever becoming viable. It created a bad name for EV's and EV technology in many countries, including Australia, where it's chief acolyte the former leftist politician, Evan Thornley's, extravagant and untruthful claims, attracted millions of dollars in highly publicised failed investment ! The sooner this idiotic venture is forgotten, the better !
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd buy one of those Fluence ZEs for cheap. Looks pretty nice. As long as the BP software is removed and I could charge it up with a normal charger. The BP business model never made sense. Getting locked into a 2 year cell phone contract is one thing . . . but getting locked into a car contract for the life of the car is another.
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