Not in a Better Place

Better Place, about which I was optimistic several years ago when visiting Israel, is not doing well:

Better Place, which staked out its position in the electric car market with an innovative battery-swapping technology, has sold only about 750 cars in Israel, while piling up losses of more than $500 million. Agassi was forced out of Better Place in October, his successor as CEO quit in January, and the company has put its global rollout on hold. Better Place needs to raise more money this year, and that won’t be easy, insiders say.

The devil appears mostly to be in the details. The technology works, people who use it like it, but it isn’t cheap enough yet to overcome a bunch of individually minor regulatory and societal hurdles.

One point which occurs to me is that the automatic battery-swapping technology pairs well with self-driving cars. The cars can charge themselves when not in use.

Hat tip: Brad Plumer at Wonkblog.


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