I have to confess that I’m impressed with the staying power that Better Place investor Israeli Corp has had in terms of supporting the electric car charging network and battery swap startup (I always feel strange calling a company that has raised $750 million and lost $490 million, a startup, but given how novel the battery swapping tech still strikes me as, I still think of it as a startup.)
Well, the company is at it again, looking for another $100 million, which could include $67 million from Israeli Corp. Between Israel and Denmark, Better Place has about 36 stations operational. And in small geographic countries like Israel and Denmark, it can actually be possible to transverse the country without having to ever charge, giving the driver an experience similar to an internal combustion engine driving journey. And if you’re willing to buy the Renault Fluence electric sedan that is compatible with the swapping stations and go all in on the EV experience, then you’re all set. It’s just that in places like the U.S. where we expect so much choice and where the infrastructure needed is so much larger, it’s tough to see how Better Place will move beyond small markets, if at all. Which is probably why a place like Israel, with just under 8 million people, is the right market to be in.