“Captain Sunshine” Interested In Buying Better Place

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Yosef Abramowitz, dubbed as “Captain Sunshine” wants to purchase Better Place (its assets), which is currently in financial trouble and winding down its operations outside of Israel. Better Place filed for bankruptcy last month after selling approximately 900 cars in Israel and 400 in Denmark.

better-place-battery-swap-bankruptAbramowitz actually built Israel’s first commercial solar field about two years ago. He has gotten to the stage of talking with potential business partners about bidding on Better Place.

This possibility has some people hopeful. Could the Better Place project finally attain its goal?

When I first saw the demonstration of the project, it was heartwarming because it “replenished” electric cars’ charge in only about 2 minutes, and they were then on their merry way. This helps so much because the long charge time of conventional EVs contributes to range anxiety.

Battery swapping is becoming less useful as electric vehicle battery charge time has been decreasing, however. They can already charge in 20 minutes.

Also, some other experts have argued for a long time that battery swapping is a dead-in-the-water idea. There are too many issues with it that make it unviable on the market.

But worth noting is that Tesla is actually interested in the idea. A recent SEC filing included mention of battery swapping. When asked about this during a recent press call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he had thought about it and discussed it for years, that it wasn’t a particularly novel idea, and that they key would be getting the right system in place and getting the economics to work. But he didn’t seem clear on whether or not Tesla would ever seriously pursue the option.

Yosef Abramowitz is the co-founder of the Arava Power Company.

Better Place has posted losses of $400 million since 2007, ousted its founder (Shai Agassi, who may have been the brains behind the project), has one month of cash left for operation, and is about to be liquidated.

This will be suspenseful!

Better Place was only able to get one manufacturer to commit on of its electric vehicle models to the Better Place project. That is the Renault Fluence. Better Place shut down its operations in the US and Australia shortly after letting Agassi go.

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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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