Better Place to shutter North American operations.

Better Place to shutter North American operations.

Better Place to shutter North American operations. There's an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser 2/7/13 page A10, left lower column that explains that Better Place will be shuting down. The entire article reads as follows:

"Wanted: One buyer for 150 electric vehicle charging stations installed at 50 locations statewide [Hawaii]. The mission: Keeping them all maintained so that those with the means to buy an EV can keep them running. The challenge: Figuring out a business model that makes enough money doing the job.

Apparently, Better Place, a company now based in Tel Aviv that brought the stations here, couldn't manage that because word came this week that it was shuttering its North American operations.

There's always a lot of talk about sustainablity in discussions of green energy. One of the things that must be sustained, it seems, is black ink on the bottom line." - 30-

jat | 7 February 2013

The problem with battery swap is that with a 100km battery, you need lots of battery swap stations (far more than Superchargers, which are spaced for an 85kWh battery), and each one of them has a very expensive inventory of batteries. I think they are correct to abandon the larger countries they were targeting and focus on Israel and Denmark, where you don't need so many battery swap stations to cover the area.

However, they still face a massive challenge, as Renault has stopped making Better Place-compatible cars, so they not only have to be successful themselves but they have to convince Renault (or someone else) to invest in the concept as well if there is to be any long-term success.

Brian H | 8 February 2013

"Done like dinner." -- Tiger Williams

david_se | 8 February 2013

Not sure where these are located, but it could be a great chance for Tesla to expand their Supercharger network. If they have locations with power in place, couldn't that speed up the expansion process significantly?

jat | 8 February 2013

@david_se - the whole point of the battery swap idea is to avoid having to fast-charge. You slowly charge the battery to be ready for the next swap, so you don't need high-power grid connections.

If these are just BP charging stations, then they are the equivalent of L2 chargers.