Electric car battery switching firm calls it a day

An Israeli car firm which aimed to replace petrol stations with electric battery switching stations has called it a day after just a year in operation. Better Place pioneered the […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

An Israeli car firm which aimed to replace petrol stations with electric battery switching stations has called it a day after just a year in operation.

Better Place pioneered the idea of switching batteries to counter the problems with electric cars. It had a network of charging points and battery switch stations in Denmark and Israel, which it says served more than 1,500 members.

Founded by software developer Shai Agassi, Better Place reportedly had more than $800 million pumped into the business and had teamed up with carmaker Renault on an electric car with an easily “switchable” battery.

But over the weekend the Israeli firm announced it has applied to be liquidated after failing to raise extra funds and struggling with “insufficient” revenues over its first year of operating commercially.

Dan Cohen, Better Place’s Chief Executive Officer said it was a “difficult day” for all involved: “From the start, Better Place was a breakthrough for the infrastructure of the electric car industry… Israel was the first place in which an electrical car could travel without limit.”

He added: “Unfortunately, after a year’s commercial operation, it was clear to us that despite many satisfied customers, the wider public take up would not be sufficient and that the support from the car producers was not forthcoming.”