Israel’s electric car concept company Better Place has assured media that the company is able to secure investment to continue its mission of pushing the electric car market forward in Israel and other countries such as Australia and Denmark. Two months after firing its iconic CEO Shai Agassi, the company’s new CEO announced that the company has a new business plan set in action which will put the company at the center of providing “services” to electric car owners. This is over developing and providing electric cars to consumers. But Evan Thornley the new Australian CEO was vague on how this business plan will roll out in real terms.
According to Thornley in the business newspaper the Marker, Better Place will operate battery-charging services for electric cars and in this capacity would operate much like a chain of gas stations for electric vehicles, whether they be the Better Place produced Renault-Nissan Fluence models or the EVs of other electric car companies (like the mini EVs that could be rented in Tel Aviv?). Thornley did not mention that the company will lower prices as he believes this is not the barrier to selling more Better Place EVs. Drivers, he said, must be willing to pay more for the electric car experience, for the status, just as they do to drive BMWs.
A couple of months ago Better Place had sold a little more than 500 of its electric cars and if I had bought one (the company had hoped to sell some 10,000 by around now) I’d probably have felt as though I’d bought a liability. What happens if the big vision flops? Will the battery swap stations become redundant? Will Better Place lift the tariff charge to use their controlled EV networks? Time will tell.
Above image of Green Prophet Maurice about to embark on a Better Place test run.