Shai Agassi

  • Better Place 2012 Renault Fluence ZE just before return to Renault [photo: Brian of London]

    It is just over five years since I bought my Better Place Renault 2012 Fluence ZE in Israel—and a little over five months since I returned it to Israel’s Renault importer for a cash settlement. By that time, the 22-kilowatt-hour battery capacity was down to 11.3 kwh, and a warning light had been on continuously since July 2016. I gave up on my first electric car, and switched to a Hyundai hybrid. DON'T MISS: Early Better Place Customer On Israel Electric-Car Experience (Apr 2012) That’s exactly what two men—Better Place CEO, Shai Agassi and Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the...

  • Better Place Battery Swapping
    The Epic Failure Of Better Place, As Covered By Fast Company

    The remarkable scope, overwhelming ambition, and epic failure of the Better Place electric-car service in Israel is worthy of a book, or several. But until one appears, Fast Company magazine has produced the most comprehensive article yet on the founding--and foundering--of the great Better Place...

  • Better Place user David Rose w/keys to Renault Fluence ZE electric car in Israel [photo: David Rose]
    Shai Agassi Weighs In On The Lessons Of Tesla & Electric Cars

    Shai Agassi, founder of the now-defunct Better Place electric-car service in Israel, hasn't been in the public eye much of late. But on the business network LinkedIn this morning, he emerged to weigh in on the lessons of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] and what the auto industry at large could learn from...

  • Better Place visitor center [photo: Brian of London]
    Better Place Electric-Car Service Files For Bankruptcy

    Better Place, the electric-car service that pioneered battery swapping for passenger cars, filed for bankruptcy yesterday in Israel. A statement on the Better Place website said it had applied to a court for an orderly dissolution of the company to protect "the rights of its employees, customers...

  • Better Place user David Rose w/keys to Renault Fluence ZE electric car in Israel [photo: David Rose]
    How's Better Place Doing In Israel These Days?

    The Better Place electric-car system has not had a good run of news lately. But despite little attention, it has managed to boost the sales rate in Israel for its cars, along with subscriptions to its battery-switching service. Deliveries for all of 2012 were 518 cars. Roughly the first 100 were...

  • Better Place battery-swap demonstration
    Better Place Hires Marketing Guru Peter Economides To Buff Its Brand

    Given soothsayers' record on end-of-the-world predictions, this probably won't be humanity's last year on Planet Earth. But for the folks at electric car start-up Better Place, 2012 has brought more than its share of doom and gloom. The biggest downer came in October, with the firing of Better...

  • 2012 Renault Fluence ZE electric car, powered by Better Place in Israel [photo: Brian of London]

    Much publicity, high hopes, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been devoted to the Better Place electric-car service. Now, with an apparent dearth of Israeli customers to sign on the dotted line, the company is turning over its management. Deputy CEO departs The latest defection is deputy CEO Moshe Kaplinsky. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported his resignation last Thursday. Kaplinksy had run Better Place Israel since 2008, and was promoted just last month to deputy CEO of the entire Better Place company. In an e-mail to employees, he said he had been considering the move for a long...

  • Better Place battery-swap demonstration
    Better Place Shows Off Europe's First Battery Switch Station

    Better Place has moved a bit further down the road in its quest to corner the electric vehicle market. In Denmark, the company has just unveiled Europe's first Battery Switch Station, which will serve as the cornerstone of Better Place's biggest real-world test to date. The grand event was held at...

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    Better Place Battery Swap Stations Head to China

    What’s the best way to ensure that your electric vehicle technology gets adopted by as many consumers as possible? Take it to China, of course. That’s exactly what electric car infrastructure firm Better Place has done, with the announcement that it has signed a strategic agreement with...

  • Better Place battery-swap demonstration
    Better Place: First Battery Swap Station, Profit In 2 Years?

    Better Place, the ambitious program that's launching its electric-car service in Israel, opened its first battery-swap station there on Wednesday. At an event marking the opening, CEO Shai Agassi said the company would be profitable within two years of starting to provide mobility services to its...

  • Renault Fluence ZE production electric sedan
    Is There a Business Case for Electric-Car Battery Lease or Swap?

    As 2010 draws to a close, we now have shipments of the 2011 Nissan LEAF and the 2011 Chevy Volt to customers around the United States. With the advent of these vehicles, is there still a business case for Better Place? To refresh your memory, Better Place is the venture between Shai Agassi and...

  • Nissan electric taxi leaving Better Place battery switching station, Tokyo, April 2010
    Better Place Launches Battery-Swap Test In Four Tokyo Taxis

    This past Monday, the electric-vehicle infrastructure provider Better Place held a press conference in Tokyo at the site of its first completed battery-swap station to be put into regular usage, in the Ropongi Hills area. Together with Nihon Kotsu, Tokyo's largest taxi company, the company will...

  • Renault EV Concepts

    Living in Denmark, I was recently able to sign up for a Renault Fluence Electric Vehicle, and was subsequently assigned # 25 on the waiting list. I also arranged an interview with Soren Hyltoft from Renault Denmark to get answers to my many questions about how the Fluence EV program and the swapping of its lithium-ion battery pack will work. On the cooperation between Renault and Better Place: I wanted to get a better understanding of the relationship between Renault and Better Place. In Denmark, you buy the car (with battery included) from Renault and--if you do not need to...

  • Renault Fluence EZ concept, 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show
    Driving Electric To Cost No More Than Using Gas, Says Better Place

    Driving a mile on electricity always costs less than using gasoline for the same mile. Now Better Place, the consortium wiring Israel with electric-car recharging stations and battery quick-swap facilities, has upped the ante: They claim their electric cars will cost $4,500 to $7,500 less than...

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