Better Place founder Shai Agassi has quit the board of the battery swapping firm, following his departure as chief executive last week.
The move casts a shadow of doubt over the future of the company, which is best known for its battery swapping stations, designed to offer a quick alternative to slow-charging for electric car owners.
According to the Guardian, the Israeli entrepreneur is thought to have been in a dispute with Better Place, after Better Place replaced him with Evan Thornley as chief executive, the man who ran the company’s Australian arm.
Reports in Israel suggest that Better Place could be about to lay off half its staff as it encounters a cash-flow problem.
Better Place has stations installed in the USA, Israel and Australia and was in the process of building infrastructure in Denmark after securing a €50 million loan from the European Investment Bank back in August.
Through a collaboration with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the firm is demonstrated the practical advantages of its model of charging infrastructure, with stations in Israel operating with Renault Fluence Z.E models. Instead of waiting for a car’s battery to recharge, which could take around 8-10 hours, electric car owners drive their vehicles into a swapping station and change their deplete battery for a fully charged one. The process only takes a few minutes, closer to the time it takes to refuel a petrol car.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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