News Column

Israeli Maker of Electric Cars Goes Bankrupt

May 26, 2013

Tel Aviv (dpa) - Better Place, an Israeli company that makes electric cars, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday following lower-than-expected sales.

The company was launched with much fanfare in 2008, but has since lost some 3 billion Israeli shekels (800 million US dollars).

It sold its first Renault Fluence electric vehicles one year ago and went on to sell only a few hundred cars, rather than the thousands it had hoped for. Experts say the cars were priced too high.

Formally headquartered in California, Better Place also operates a network of battery switching stations.

Israel Corporation Ltd, the country's largest holding company with a stake of almost 30% in Better Place, announced that it would no longer invest in the company.

Better Place's high-profile chief executive officer, Shai Aggassi, was ousted in October.

"Better Place announces that it has filed a motion with the Lod District Court today to ask for the dissolution of the company and the appointment of a temporary liquidator," the company said in a statement.

Despite significant efforts over the past six months, "revenues are still insufficient to cover operating costs," it said.

"This is a difficult day for all of us," 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.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters