While an electric limo or taxi service might not be in the works yet, there are still those companies that are working on ways of getting more electric cars on the road. Unfortunately the process of making driving an electric car convenient for users is a long journey. The company “Better Place” had a great big pile of money and a grand idea, and it recently all went to pieces.
Some basic facts:
1-The money invested over the years: over 850 million dollars.
2-The Company: Better Place, electric car company.
3-Company focus: clean tech.
4-The grand idea: creating a system of battery drop off stations for electric car users.
5-The time spent on this attempt: 6 years.
6-what the company was worth 2 years ago: $2.25 billion.
7-what the company is worth now: zilch, nada, nothing!
There were some big name investors that jumped aboard because the idea was definitely a good one. It just might have been a little ahead of it’s time.
Some of the investors:
The European Investment Bank.
VantagePoint Capital Partners.
The major issue with the vehicles was the limited range of the batteries. That was also why the big plan was to create the battery switching station infrastructure. The plan did make sense. People would drive until they needed a fresh battery and then would switch them out at the battery changing station. It brings to mind the beginnings of the auto industry when drivers had to plan out routes according to the location of gas stations and garages that were capable of repairing tires.
Another big issue was the discrepancy between vehicles in the electric car world. Competitors such as Tesla as well as larger car companies were resistant to the industry adopting one standard. Perhaps they are all hoping to be the behind the one company that comes out on top.