Better Place filed court motion to wind up operations

Article by Anita Panait, on May 28, 2013

Electric carmaker Better Place had filed a motion in an Israeli court to wind up its operations. The filing effectively ended a venture which battery charging network was aimed at boosting electric car sales. Better Place collaborated with Renault in 2008 to come up with an electric car system that combines charging terminals with battery swap stations, resulting in increased range of electric cars.

The electric carmaker managed to receive over $850 million from top-tier investors. It even announced two years ago that it was valued at $2.25 billion. But Better Place never saw its sales take off. It only managed to roll out over a thousand cars in Israel and Denmark, the first two countries where it started operations. Better Place committed to build 100,000 electric cars for Israel and Denmark, counting on large fleets to become their customers.

In a statement, the board of directors of Better Place said that its “gasoline-free” vision remains valid and important, adding that it is hoping that it will be realized “for the benefit of a better world." The company’s board of directors remarked that Better Place will not be able to “take part in the realization of this vision." Although carmakers are making large investments into hybrid and electric cars, these environment-friendly vehicles may not be enough to meet rigid carbon dioxide emissions limits set by the European Union.

Better Place chief executive Dan Cohen said that after a year of operation, it became clear that despite many satisfied customers, the “wider public take up would not be sufficient.” He disclosed that the carmaker’s management has requested the appointment of a voluntary liquidator who will decide on how to compensate customer and employees and how to maintain its battery charging network. [source: FinancialTimes]

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