Italian version of this article published on International Business Times
Better Place is a vision of future, the electric vehicle’s dream. To drive
with no anxiety about battery’s range because thousands of switching stations give you more power to keep your journey. The company was born 5 years ago under the green US new deal and has strong Israel origins and management. Its vision aimed to create new technological standards in the automotive sector, and gained millions of dollars to invest in an overall new distribution infrastructures network. Founder and promoter of this new vision was Shai Agassi, well popular entrepreneurwith environmental passion. The company faces today new challenges as it is transforming its core business from investigating new technology and making prototypes to a service company, running operations and providing everyday services to clients. First few switching stations have been launched in Netherlands and Denmark (also participating to international research projects as
GreenEmotion) while in Israel 32 stations are already running services to few hundreds Renault Fluence sold to clients. Very few numbers compared to previsions as forecasts estimated 4.000 vehicles running thus the situation is getting more complicated. In the last year Better Place asked for new funding to cover losses calculated in more than 130milions of $ in the first half of the year while European Bank of Investments approved 40 millions € loan to roll out operations in Denmark and Netherlands. Furthermore Israel Corporation (one of main shareholders) put 100 millions of $ into the company (half of the requested amount).
In early October the first shock, Shai Agassi, founder and CEO left his role saying that “Five years ago, I followed my passion to make the world a better place and founded a company to materialize that vision. Very few people are blessed to see such a grand vision become a proven reality within a relatively short time frame”
Evan Thornley from Better Place Australiawas appointed new global Ceo,
also considering great result achieved in his country and strong gained investments. The news was a big break put all stakeholders could understand the changing business model. Few days ago a new breaking news: Moshe Kaplinsky, formel general of Israel defence army and member of the board (ceo of Israel operations) left too.
It’s quite clear the group is facing some troubles being in the middle of revolutionizing electric mobiliy market but operating in a missing market. Few weeks ago a multinational Us company went to bankrupt (A123) but we believe Better Palce has strong resources and commitment to overcome the bad moment. 2013 will probably be turnaround decisive year.
Thanks to Haaretz Daily Newspaper.