At a bargain basement price tag of only $450,000 the Israeli startup Gnrgy has bought the assets of the failed electric car company Better Place. Will the third time be the charm? Two other companies have tried to buy Better Place but failed. Gnrgy makes the most sense so far.
The company’s CEO Ran Eloya announced yesterday that he has bought the remains of the trail blazing company after it battled with internal management issues. Less than two years ago the company was valued at $2 billion USD and it was now bought for about the same price of a two room apartment in Tel Aviv.
Better Place’s visionary CEO Shai Agassi was fired around this time last year and by May the trouble was clear: the company filed for bankruptcy that month some six years after it planned to revolutionize the auto industry. Better Place, with Renault, planned to create quick swap battery stations throughout the country to reduce range anxiety in drivers of electric cars.
We just spoke with investor Michael Granoff who is writing a tell all book about his work with Better Place.
According to news reports Eloya said that Gnrgy will maintain some 1,800 public charge spots that service the 1,000 or so electric cars on the roads in Israel. He is not going to sell cars or provide battery swap services, however.
Acquiring Better Place assets makes sense for the company: Gnrgy focuses on two EV charging solutions, the first being a simple charging management socket which uses existing infrastructure and enables fast implementation of a charging solution for electric cars.
This is especially handy for the residential market where the need is for low cost charging solutions that work in conjunction with the utilities preferred charging scheduling.
The second charging solution is a traditional infrastructure charging spot which requires an infrastructure modification and is operated under our same management network. This solution targets municipality, enterprise parking lots, and government offices where there is a need for a charging solution but under a single energy management network.
I think the $450,000 paid by Gnrgy is going to pay for itself in free advertising: the news of this buyout is hitting the international press as the world waits to see if and how this trailblazing company Better Place returns from the grave.