Better Place leaves the USA and Australia behind, focuses on Denmark and Israel
In a recent article on Torquenews, Better Place announced it was leaving the US and Australian market to concentrate on Denmark and Israel. The beleaguered battery swap company is regrouping and focusing where it already has a presence.
If you remember a long, long time ago in the electric vehicle industry, Better Place announced boldly that electric vehicles (EV) would one day be able to drop their worn out battery packs and replace it with a freshly energized one. The idea had merit but for many, it was a little too early for its time. After all, how can you persuade carmakers to adopt a battery pack standard to allow its drivers to swap it out at stations when they jealously safeguard their intellectual properties?
Alliances & Strategic Partnerships. Better Place struck deals with the Israel government who also became a financial backer. Israel has a serious petroleum crisis and sees electric vehicles as the perfect solution to disentangle itself from its hostile petroleum producing neighbors. Denmark was also favorable to the idea of electric car swapping their batteries at designated stations. Better Place looked at Hawaii and Australia as their next market point of entry.
Diversifying Needs of EV Drivers. If swapping battery packs for electric car drivers is a big leap forward, Better Place had to find something else to offer. It chose to diversify its business model to include a charging station network, something that is much more practical and feasible today.
If the budding years of the electric vehicle in 2008 was all about enthusiasm, it also has brought its fair share of overly-optimistic predictions. Today carmakers realize they cannot fulfill pre-2008 sales estimates and have had to review downward their projections. This gave the news media another sensationalist frenzy depicting EV as impossible, although the adoption numbers of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are similar to those of hybrids over a decade, in a much better economy.
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Does Better Place pulling out of the US and Australia means it is doomed to fail? Not necessarily. Better Place has gathered much momentum with a partnership with Renault that will roll out some of its all-electric Fluence with Better Place’s battery swapping technology. In the end, Better Place is also sobering up and doing what many companies need to do today, focus on what works, grow the business and diversify intelligently in order not put all of its eggs in one basket.