Today is D-Day for electric car drivers in condos and apartments in Israel and who use the Better Place charging systems. The Israel Electric Company announced last week that yesterday was the cutoff date. See the announcement above placed in local papers. Anyone not registering their charge stations (previously to Better Place) in their names will be cut off from service.
Some 800 plus people in Israel are driving an electric car fashioned by Better Place and without a centralized billing service, users will likely face charging inconveniences with this new announcement. Problems with collecting due payments from drivers was one of the reasons why potential buyers could not put together enough funds to bring the company back to life.
What’s the background story?
After an emotional take-over by a social activist-turned solar entrepreneur this summer, let’s say within a few short years Israel’s electric car dream at Better Place has gone up in smoke and chaos. Better Place declared bankruptcy earlier this year.
Electric car in Jaffa, waiting for a charge
But the writing was on the wall already when its visionary CEO Shai Agassi was fired late 2012. Self-made union members of existing car owners led by Kaptain Sunshine banded together to buy the assets of Better Place.
With Sunshine and his backers failing to make payments, the company was put back on the block and bought by a company that owns parking garages. A private check wouldn’t do, and so Better Place is now in the hands of liquidators once again.
And no, according to Tesla’s spokeswoman, the company has no interest in taking over Better Place.
Meanwhile Better Place car owners are not being allowed to talk to the media about the situation.
We can assume that their battery switch stations are down, and if a driver hasn’t switched over to the electric company getting a charge to drive out of town will be a big bummer.