With almost a billion in financing and electric battery charge and change stations in place nationwide, at its critical hour Israel’s electric car company Better Place failed. It went bankrupt this year. One of its first investors, and biggest backers Michael Granoff will be writing a tell-all book. He speaks with Green Prophet.
Granoff is the founder of Maniv Energy Capital. The New York-based investment group was largely responsible for putting together nearly $700 million in capital to raise Better Place. He went on to become head of oil independence policies at the company which was led by visionary Shai Agassi.
GIven what has happened to the company over the last year, Granoff fears that Israel may be one of the last countries on earth to develop an electric car industry.
While he promises to leave all the goodies for his forthcoming book, he does blame the government for its lack of support, and the fact that buyers of hybrid cars managed to get tax breaks while those buying electric cars did not. But, he told a local paper: “The fundamental issues were internal. There were mistakes that were made by individuals and so forth.”
About the handling of the company post-liquidation when Kaptain Sunshine and car owners tried to take over the company and then failed, this is what Granoff had to say:
“I thought it was a comedy of errors that was very unfortunate for the creditors and more importantly for the country and the cause of electrification of transportation. But then again, it would seem that it is entirely in keeping with the government¹s attitude toward that cause,” he told Green Prophet.
We can’t wait to read his book.
Car owners of the Better Place cars in Israel meanwhile are now dealing with the fact that they are left without a viable charge to get around the country. I spoke with one owner of a car in Israel two weeks ago and he says he is not allowed to talk to the media, but that it’s becoming a headache basically. He has a charge point at home, but that’s good for getting around town. Anything outside his range is scary.
Meanwhile read all over coverage on Better Place here.