/By Ilan Shavit /
Better Place’s plan to create a world full of electric vehicles that swap their batteries when they run out of juice is reportedly dead.The Israel-based company plans to file for bankruptcy in the coming days, with a source familiar with the situation saying that Better Place couldn’t scale quickly enough, and “The company was not well-served by having things it thought would happen over a decade happen within a year.”
Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), the controlling shareholder in electric car venture Better Place, notified the TASE today that it has decided not to invest in the venture’s upcoming financing round because no investors were found to share in the large investment needed. Better Place will shortly submit a motion for liquidation with the court.
The company raised $850 million in funding, but needs investment of another $500 million, to reach operating breakevenover, after losing $454 million in 2012 alone.
Better Place was founded Shai Agassi in 2007 , But the young charismatic CEO was ousted by the board last year, and his position was filled by Better Place Australia CEO Evan Thornley, who left a few months later.
But the biggest problem for Better Place wasn’t just scale, it was adopted. Only one automaker — Renault/Nissan — was willing to create a vehicle that was compatible with Better Place’s swappable battery packs.