HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Trailblazing Israeli elec...

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:59 PM

Trailblazing Israeli electric car company to close

Source: AP-Excite

By JOSEF FEDERMAN

JERUSALEM (AP) - It was an audacious idea that came to symbolize Israel's self-described status as "Start-Up Nation," a company that believed it could replace most gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles and reduce the world's reliance on oil - and all within a few years.

But it all came crashing down.

The company, Better Place, started out as a source of pride and a symbol of Israel's status as a global high-tech power, but it suffered from a local brand of hubris and overreach. On Sunday, it announced plans to liquidate after burning through almost a billion dollars and failing to sell its silent fleet of French-made sedans to a skeptical public.

"This is a very sad day for all of us. We stand by the original vision as formulated by Shai Agassi of creating a green alternative that would lessen our dependence on highly polluting transportation technologies," the company said. "Unfortunately, the path to realizing that vision was difficult, complex and littered with obstacles, not all of which we were able to overcome."

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20130526/DA6H7GAO1.html





In this Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010 file photo, an electric car is seen during a demonstration of the California-based company Better Place in Tel Aviv, Israel. Better Place announced Sunday, May 26, 2013, that it is shutting down, less than six years after unveiling an ambitious plan that promised to revolutionize the auto industry by reducing the world's dependency on oil. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

5 replies, 2100 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trailblazing Israeli electric car company to close (Original post)
Omaha Steve May 2013 OP
Rosa Luxemburg May 2013 #1
philly_davis May 2013 #4
SunSeeker May 2013 #2
tinrobot May 2013 #3
Puzzler May 2013 #5

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:51 PM

1. Are Israelis like Americans - love gas guzzlers?

I would have thought that Israelis were more green-minded and loved electric cars. However, there is a pressure everywhere from the oil companies to trash electric.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #1)

Mon May 27, 2013, 07:56 AM

4. Green minded??

Israel - home of the people who hate Arabs but love Arab oil.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:49 PM

2. Too bad. Sounds like mismanagement by an attention-seeking CEO.

From the article:

...it suffered from a local brand of hubris and overreach.
...
Agassi, a former top executive at software maker SAP, became a celebrity CEO. He was a central character in "Start-Up Nation," a best-selling book about Israel's high-tech industry, he was named to Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in 2009 and became a fixture at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:00 PM

3. Looks like the company is now in a better place.

Sorry, I just had to...

Their business model was always a tough one - swapping out large batteries means creating a lot of infrastructure for the swapping stations plus a large capital investment for spare batteries (which currently cost about 10 grand each.)

I think Tesla has a better road to success with larger batteries and fast charging. Hopefully their vehicle costs will come down as they amortize their initial R&D.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 08:50 AM

5. Note the swipe against other

EVs in the article:

"Sales of Nissan's all-electric Leaf grew 22 percent around the world last year to 26,000, short of Nissan's projected 50 percent growth."

Better scrap the Nissan Leaf, eh? Only 22% growth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread