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.
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
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
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.
Shai Agassi has been pondering what it will take for electric vehicles to beat cheap gasoline-powered competitors. And he got some advice from former president Bill Clinton in 2006: giving away the car is a sure way to succeed.
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 has long promoted itself to the electric-vehicle advocate community as the expert in battery-swapping technology. Turns out, the company is proficient at swapping out its CEOs, too.
Founder out, more cash in.
Rough starts and local criticism are nothing new in the green car start-up world, and it looks like Better Place is going through another all-too-familiar trope: CEO shake-up.
Things just got a little better for Better Place.
Electric vehicle "miles" company Better Place will likely go public within two years to take advantage of what many expect will be broader electric-vehicle adoption throughout the world, Bloomberg News reported, citing an interview with company founder Shai Agassi last week.
Better Place, the Silicon Valley company founded by former high-tech executive and Israel native Shai Agassi in 2007, has delivered the first 100 electric cars to Israeli customers. After years of tests and trial programs, the deliveries mark a big step in the company's efforts to build out an electric-vehicle charging and battery-exchanging network throughout the country.
Recently, Ecomagination, General Electric's cleantech and sustainable infrastructure website, interviewed Shai Agassi, the founder and chief executive officer of battery swap specialist Better Place. Questions centered on how Better Place will forever change the notion that electric vehicles are range-limited machines.
Renault Fluence ZE concept - click above for high-res image gallery
Renault Fluence Zero Emissions Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery
Project Better Place battery swap - Click above for hi-res image gallery
Toyota's Bill Reinert should be better known. With so many quotable statements coming from GM's Bob Lutz and Tesla Motor's Elon Musk, perhaps Reinert, Toyota Motor Sales' national manager or the advanced technology group, is just overshadowed in the OMG series. But, during a recent conference sponsored by Fortune in Orange County, Reinert made a play to get his dramatic words out there. Speaking to Automobile Mag, he said:
Coda electric sedan - Click above for high-res image gallery
Shai Agassi has big ideas when it comes to electric cars. He wants to build networks of public charging outlets and battery swap stations. He also wants to sell electric cars with a battery subscription plan similar to cell phone calling plans. In an interview with CNET Agassi revealed that he wants to sell his electric car for about $20,000 before any tax credits. With a $7,500 federal credit that price comes down to almost $12,000.