Better Place Battery Swap StationEnlarge Photo
When companies like Tesla Motors start talking battery-swapping technology, you get the feeling Israeli firm Better Place just hit the market too soon.
Although Better Place (BP) filed for bankruptcy back in May, some companies have shown an interest in keeping its battery-swapping stations running--a plan that now seems to have succeeded.
That includes BP's 15 operational battery-swap stations, as well as other real estate owned by the bankrupt electric startup. What's more, Sunrise SL is looking to buy the intellectual property rights of the battery swap process itself from the Danish arm of Better Place.
The upshot is that the entire Better Place concept could be revived, along with the network of swapping stations used by those who purchased or leased the electric Renault Fluence sedan through the scheme.
Renault's car is the sole vehicle associated with the scheme, but Renault distanced itself from BP's troubles, pointing out that only a fraction of its sales originated from that side of the business.
For Better Place--or at least its business model--Abramowitz and Sunrise SL could be just what is required.
The businessman brings prior experience of running green businesses to BP, the most significant a solar power company that opened a large solar field in Israel two years ago.
Following his initial announcement of interest in Better Place, he released a statement saying, "It's worth a try. The owners/drivers are driving this, and am happy to play a supporting role. It has become clear now how much Better Place failed not only on the business front, but on the political and regulatory front. Could have been avoided. Good luck to everyone!"
It's too early to say whether the company will fully rise from the ashes, but for Better Place's old customers, the revived battery-swap stations will at least be a few welcoming embers.