Better Place joins the ranks of electric vehicle (EV) business to declare for bankruptcy. Better Place had planned to develop a prototype EV battery-swap operation in Israel. A network of stations were installed that would allow the EV owner to replace the battery with a new one in about the “same amount of time it takes to fill a gasoline tank on a regular car”. The idea was to remove range anxiety. Israel was thought to be an ideal place because driving distances are relatively short.
The swapping stations cost about $500,000 each and Better Places is said to have spent “hundreds of millions of dollars on them. The Renault-Nissan Alliance was supporting this program and were building specially designed vehicles with battery swapping capability.
But the Israelis did not buy into the concept. The Renault-Nissan Alliance only sold 750 cars (Renault Fluence ZE sedans) equipped with the battery changing technology. What the 750 owners are going to be left with is not known at this time.
The Alliance still plans to move forward with their plans to develop an EV business.
If you are in the EV business you must also be enduring some form of anxiety.
The Detroit Bureau details this story in their posting “Project Better Place Latest EV Failure“.