After Shai Agassi’s departure from the CEO position in EV battery swapping Better Place, the company seems to be going downwards. Now their only focus will remain on Denmark and Israel.
Venture-backed company Better Place is working to produce a market-based transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles. The company invented, installs, and operates EV battery swapping stations. Unfortunately, the company has had to close facilities in the US and Australia, a move that is possibly a harbinger of things to come.
Better Place has decided instead to focus on markets in Israel and Denmark. The company decided to focus on Israel and Denmark specifically because these countries have dense populations and shorter driving distances which are more attractive to EV ownership.
Project Better Place was an innovative idea because it allowed electric cars to travel long distances and regard in a very short amount of time. It is not unusual for conventional electric cars to take up to 8 hours to charge, but Better Place found a way to recharge in order to cover the same distance in only 4 minutes by swapping the battery.
The downside is that Better Place has not been able to find customers willing to sign up for its subscription battery-swapping plans which entails buying a certain amount of miles per month.
There were some signs in December 2012 that things were shaky. New CEO Evan Thornley stepped down after only 3 months on the job after he replaced Shai Agassi, the founder and CEO of Better Place. Agassi was fired after the company experienced major financial losses and was deemed to have no focus.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Renault is the only company that has agreed to partner with Better Place. Better Place was once valued at $2 billion, but the company’s value is going down quickly.