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Electric Car Battery Swapping Startup Folds

Electric Car Battery Swapping Startup Folds

Image source: http://www.betterplace.com/

A company that wanted to disrupt the electric car market through providing quick battery swapping at its network of charging stations is closing its doors and being liquidated.

Better Place, the Israeli electric car infrastructure company, aimed to deliver a tech solution for a greener alternative to fossil fuel transportation through a full electric car ecosystem.

The Better Place model focused on overcoming the main challenges to wider acceptance of electric vehicles, from the high cost and limited range of EVs to concerns about long charging times.

The company’s vision started at the car, in this case a “switchable-battery” Renault Fluence Z.E., and followed it through to automated charge stations that could quickly swap out an empty battery for a full one, in essence giving drivers unlimited range for their EVs.

Better Place also offered home charging units and memberships for unlimited access to other “Charge Spots”, which could be easily located with “Oscar”, a driver support app that also included range prediction and energy usage data for smarter driving.

According to Better Place, due to lack of support from car companies and adoption by the public, the company was unable to raise sufficient funds to successfully keep the business operating, and will be liquidated.

“This is a difficult day for all of us. We have come a long way in order to bring about a global vision. From the start, Better Place was a breakthrough for the infrastructure of the electric car industry and successfully completed the development of its technology and infrastructure. Israel was the first place in which an electrical car could travel without limit.

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.”
– Dan Cohen, Better Place Chief Executive Officer

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