Better Place, the once-hot electric vehicle startup that raised $750 million in investment, said it is shutting down operations in the U.S. and Australia to focus on the markets where its made the most progress: Israel and Denmark.
Better Place's U.S. headquarters are in Palo Alto where at one time it had about 200 employees working to develop EV battery charging infrastructure. Former CEO Shai Agassi's vision for the company was that it would sell electric car miles the way cellular companies sell cell phone minutes. But a core part of BetterPlace's business was also battery swapping stations. BetterPlace never gained traction in the U.S. in building or testing battery swapping stations.
Agassi was replaced as CEO in October by the then-CEO of Better Place Australia Evan Thornley. Agassi resigned from the board a week later. Thornley was let go in January and Idan Ofer, Chairman, was charged with handling CEO duties.