BETTER PLACE Electric Car Company Files for Liquidation - BK List Gets Longer

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Latest in growing list of electric car companies to fizzle out proves The Auto Channel’s position against electric cars

TEL AVIV, Israel - May 26, 2013: Better Place, the innovative initiative founded by Shai Shai Agassi, has filed for liquidation this morning in Israel. According to the company’s motion, the action is a result its failure to raise additional funds and in the absence of sufficient resources for the continued operation of the business, the company is asking for the court’s assistance in protecting the rights of its employees, customers and creditors. There was no word how the Israeli filing will affect Better Place’s operations in other parts of the world.

“Project BETTER PLACE” made international headlines several years ago with an imaginative solution to the primary problem of electric cars (range and charging time) by quickly swapping out batteries at roadside service stations, as is done with propane tanks, rather than recharging them.

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A statement from the company’s Board of Directors said: “This is a very sad day for all of us. We stand by the original vision as formulated by Shai Agassi of creating a green alternative that would lessen our dependence on highly polluting transportation technologies. While he was able with partners and investors to overcome multiple challenges to demonstrate that it was possible to deliver a technological solution that would fulfill that vision. Unfortunately, the path to realizing that vision was difficult, complex and littered with obstacles, not all of which we were able to overcome. The technical challenges we overcame successfully, but the other obstacles we were not able to overcome, despite the massive effort and resources that were deployed to that end.”

According to an Associated Press story, Better Place raised some $850 million from investors like General Electric Co. and HSBC Holdings PLC and the European Investment Bank. Israel Corp., controlled by billionaire Idan Ofer, was the largest shareholder in the venture.

Earlier this month electric car maker CODA filed for bankruptcy protection, which came just weeks after Fisker Motors suspended operations. Several battery development companies have also been forced to restructure or shutter their doors in recent times.

Sorry to have to say we told you so...

News of Better Places’ filing comes as no surprise to The Auto Channel as we have long criticized the idea of relying on current electric vehicle technology to free us from dependence on petroleum oil and gasoline. “The concept of electric cars is great and wonderful, but for now and the foreseeable future it is just a fantasy,” said Bob Gordon, president of The Auto Channel. “Unfortunately, the fantasy has just been a distraction to what we really must do to become energy independent, and it has only diverted our attention and wasted billions of dollars in government and private investments.” Gordon added.

   SEE: Electric Vehicles - Solution or Diversion?

The Auto Channel believes that the only viable solution to breaking the chains that bind us to foreign oil and global terrorism is ethanol; domestically produced by domestically owned companies. Despite the enormous efforts by the oil industry for more than 100 years to denigrate ethanol, ethanol has always been the better fuel. Ethanol is cleaner, it produces more power, it costs less to produce and we don’t have to rely on any other country or regime for an abundant supply.

   SEE: Alcohol and Driving DO Mix

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