Better Place Inc

Better Place is an American company that aims to reduce global dependency on petroleum through the creation of a market-based transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles. The company was launched, as Project Better Place, by Shai Agassi on October 29, 2007.

This is a privately held company. As of January 2011 it has already raised USD 700 million and about a third was spent in setting up the battery switch stations. Also several countries and states have offered tax breaks. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The company has offices in Australia, China, Japan, Denmark, Israel, North America and European Union. 

Business line, products and service offerings

Better Place is a company focusing on development of battery and power solutions for the electrical vehicles in the transport industry. Better Place delivers the network and services that are required for an electric car to be affordable to buy and easy to use. Electric car drivers will have access to a network of charge spots, battery switch stations and systems that optimize the driving experience and minimize environmental impact and cost.

The solutions offered by the company include:

  1. Batteries : Better Place works with battery and vehicle manufacturers, like Renault, A123Systems and AESC, to develop lithium-ion batteries for EVs. A 24 kWh lithium-ion battery (about 200 kg/440 lbs) provides a range of about 160 kilometers (100 miles) on a single charge. The company claims that the batteries are expected to perform for over 8 years and 2,000 recharges. If each charge gets 100 miles, the battery is projected to last 200,000 miles.
  2. Switch Stations : Better Place is working with automakers to ensure that EVs and battery switch stations are compatible.
  3. Charging : Better Place develops, installs and manages large networks of charge spots that will give consumers the convenience and services they need to confidently make the transition to EVs.
  4. Electric Vehicle driver services : The company is working to bring advanced in-car software and telematics systems into cars and making them easier and better to use.
  5. Electric vehicle network software : Better Place is innovating on ways and means to help utilities satisfy the EV demand without making major investments in additional electricity generation, transmission or communication systems.

Strategic partners/alliances

Better Place is working with governments, businesses and utility companies to accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation. Some of the companies Better Place has partnered with are: A123 Systems, Acorns to Oaks II, AGL, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, DONG Energy, Esarbee Investments Canada, GC Investments LLC, General Electric, Hawaiian Electric Company, HSBC, Israel Cleantech Ventures, Israel Corp., Lazard, Macquarie Capital, Maniv Energy Capital, Morgan Stanley, Musea Ventures, Ofer Group, Renault-Nissan Alliance, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Vayikra Partners, Wolfensohn & Co.

Venture Capital/Institutional Investors

Better Place is being funded by many investors in different countries.

  1. Australia: In 2010, RACV (Royal Automotive Club of Vehicles) invested USD 2 million. In 2009 Lend Lease Ventures, AcetewAGL and few other private investors funded USD 25 million to the company for its operations in Australia.
  2. European Union: Better Place was awarded USD 6.5 million under the “Trans-European Transport Network” programme. 

Top Management :

  1. CEO – Shai Agassi
  2. Chairman of the Board – Idan Ofer
  3. CFO – Charles Stonehill

Recent News: 

  1. 28 June, 2011 — Better Place unveiled the company’s first Battery Switch station in Europe at an event in Gladsaxe, just outside Copenhagen.
  2. 20 June, 2011 — Better Place and Renault announced a strategic partnership in Australia, expanding their global relationship by bringing the world’s first mass market, zero-emission car with a switchable battery to the region.
  3. 16 June, 2011 – A coalition of eight partners led by Better Place announced that the European Commission had selected their eMobility project, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles” as the first and only project to be funded to date under DG MOVE’s new “de-carbonisation” infrastructure category.

Address :
California offices
1070 Arastradero Road, Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Telephone: +1 650-845-2800
Fax: +1 650-845-2850
Website: www.betterplace.com