If you've been curious about why Better Place went under, have we got the 8,000-word profile for you. For your weekend reading, check out a detailed history of the company's downfall over in Fast Company. Max Chafkin writes an engaging tale of the ups and downs that Better Place went through, and the personalities involved, foremost among them founder Shai Agassi, are also described in honest detail.
While the dark cloud that was the Better Place bankruptcy may have had a silver lining for some in Israel, in the US that cumulonimbus is wrapped with lithium. Or, more precisely, lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) with a sprinkling of lithium nickel oxide (LiNiO2). That's because a boat load of batteries intended for those erstwhile BP swapping stations have found their way across the Atlantic and into the clutches of our friends over at EVTV.
Half-off on electric vehicles that can go about three-quarters range on a single charge? That's more or less what the new owner of Better Place's battery-switching and EV-charging network in Israel is proposing for a bunch of Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles that it has to get off of its hands. Gnrgy, which now owns the used cars as well as the network (car-importer Carasso Motors and Renault bought the new vehicles), is offering the used Renaults for between $14,000 and $17,000. That's about a 50-
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 fur
It is apparently quite a hassle to buy the remains of Better Place. The last potential buyer, EV Net Group, missed a payment deadline at the end of September, leading a judge to void the purchase. The buyers were supposed to pay NIS 1.8 million (US$505,000), which was 20 percent of the total purchase price and did, in fact, hand over a postdated check for that amount. But that wasn't good enough. According to Haaretz, attorneys Shaul Kotler and Sigal Rozen-Rechav said in court that, "All the buy
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.
Shai Agassi is offering advice to automakers worried about the power of Tesla Motors: compete directly with fellow mega-OEMs, not with Tesla. Agassi, who founded the now-defunct Better Place, made a few interesting points on his LinkedIn page recently. Like the rest of the green car Internet, he noticed a wave of articles on General Motors doing some reconnaissance work lately on Tesla. A recent Fortune article, for example, focused on how Steve Girsky, GM's vice chairman and a former leading an
The fallout of the Better Place bankruptcy is still being felt in Hawaii and leaving some plug-in vehicle drivers with far fewer charging opportunities than they originally suspected. According to an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, OpConnect took over the Better Place charging infrastructure in Hawaii – made up of 77 charging stations there – after the Israeli company went out of business in May. If you had an account before the bankruptcy, then things have been fine for you a
With a fresh, kid-friendly look on the official website (see above), there appears to be new life in Better Place. The Israeli electric vehicle charging and battery swap station company was approved for sale to Sunrise for almost $5 million. In May, Better Place announced bankruptcy proceedings.
It came as a shock when Better Place founder Shai Agassi was ousted as CEO last October, but today's announcement that the company will enter bankruptcy proceedings is a little less of a surprise. After all, since Agassi left, there have been layoffs, another CEO departure and a shut-down of operations in the US and Australia.
The world's biggest proponent of electric vehicles appears to be exchanging his support for the concept of swappable batteries. Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says the Renault Fluence ZE will likely be the only model from the French automaker to have the ability for its battery to be changed out at battery-recharging stations such as the ones proposed by Better Place.
Shai Agassi's faith remains strong. The Better Place founder, who was removed as the company's CEO in October, still believes that a company that powers electric vehicles with swappable batteries and a subscription-based revenue model can be successful ... if operated properly.
Better Place might not be such a good one when it comes to employment, given reports that the electric vehicle infrastructure network might fire as many as 200 workers. According to the Israels business publication Globes, Better Place, which at one point employed as many as 400 people in Israel, has already pink-slipped about 140 people.