Electric car firm folds

2013-05-26 13:34
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Jerusalem - Better Place, an Israeli-American company making electricity-powered cars, announced on Sunday it was filing a court motion for dissolution after its shareholders refused to provide further funding.

A statement from Better Place said it "filed a motion with the Lod District Court" near Tel Aviv "to ask for the dissolution of the company and the appointment of a temporary liquidator".

The move came "in light of its failure to raise additional funds and in the absence of sufficient resources for the continued operation of the business," it said.

The firm, founded in 2007 by Israeli-American entrepreneur Shai Agassi with a vision to wean the world of its oil dependency, has since 2012 established an infrastructure of "charge spots and battery switch stations" for users in Denmark and Israel.

The decision to file for liquidation came after main backer Israel Corp announced to the Tel Aviv stock exchange it would not take part in a current round of investment in Better Place "since there are no investors interested".

Only around 900 such battery-powered cars are on the road in Israel, with a significantly smaller number in Denmark, according to Israeli media.

Better Place has reportedly lost about $850m since its founding. Agassi stepped down as CEO last October.

"From the start, Better Place was a breakthrough for the infrastructure of the electric car industry and successfully completed the development of its technology and infrastructure," current CEO Dan Cohen said.

"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 and that the support from the car producers was not forthcoming," he said in a statement.

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