A Renault Fluence Z.E. exits a Better Place battery switching station at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands (Photo: Better Place)
Better Place filed a motion to dissolve the company this weekend, having failed to build a commercially viable electric-vehicle battery switching infrastructure.
The Israel-based company said that, despite several measures taken in recent months, it had not managed to raise additional funds needed to continue operations. Better Place also said it hadn't succceeded in finding enough automakers willing to support its model.
"Unfortunately, after a year’s commercial operation, it was clear to us that despite many satisfied customers, the wider public take up would not be sufficient," said Better Place CEO Dan Cohen. "Support from the car producers was not forthcoming," he added in a statement.
Better Place, founded by entrepreneur Shai Agassi, believed the best way to address EVs' limited driving range was to build a network of battery switching stations, where car owners could quickly replace discharged batteries with fresh ones. In the Better Place model, EV owners buy the car but lease the battery.
The company established sizable networks in Denmark and Israel and said in February it would concentrate on these two markets.
The biggest carmaker participating in the project was Renault, which said in a statement that it would continue to provide after-sales service for its Fluence Z.E. electric vehicle and its batteries in Israel and Denmark.
"Electric vehicles are a revolution in mobility," the French carmaker said in a press release. "Renault is exploring all the charging technologies from quick drop to several alternatives."