Arab Today, arab today israeli electric car maker eyeing partnering with gm
Last Updated : GMT 07:50:25
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Israeli electric car maker eyeing partnering with GM

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Israeli electric car maker eyeing partnering with GM

Occupied Jerusalem - XINHUA

The incoming CEO of Israel\'s Better Place electric car initiative said Wednesday that the Herzliya-based firm may partner with American car making giant, General Motors. Better Place, which went public in 2007, has established a national network of battery recharge points and carwash-like automated swap out stations. Motorists pay for the charge or replacement battery via a cellphone package-like subscription plan. Better Place \"will focus on strengthening partnerships with carmakers and the big banks, and establishing new partnerships,\" Evan Thornley said, according to the Globes business newspaper. Thornley, who joined Better Place Australia in 2009, replaced founder Shai Agassi, who stepped down in recent days but will continue on as a \"shareholder and director,\" according to a parting letter to employees. Agassi\'s ambitious dream was to change the world\'s more than 100-year-dependence on fossil-fuel-powered transportation. Although the firm has begun rolling out several hundred of it\'s battery-powered Renault Fluence ZE sedans, and has already opened several dozen stations and emplaced hundreds of recharging pillars at strategic locations, so far, Better Place has lost close to 500 million U.S. dollars, according to the Ynet news site. The firm lost 132 million U.S. dollars in 2012, the previous year was 74 million U.S. dollars. \"I don\'t think that (Agassi) implemented everything perfectly, which is why we\'re here now,\" Thornley said, adding that the company is weighing cutting prices, in addition to a government tax-cut, meant to boost sales of the new technology. Since its inception, the company has also tested out its vehicles and recharge facilities in Australia, Denmark, Japan and the United States. \"Better Place has done the big things. We built the network. That is Shai Agassi\'s legacy,\" Thornley said at a press conference. \"The big things have been done and they work. We\'re now learning from our customers. That\'s the company\'s next step which we will focus on.\" He noted that the firm is planning to complete round of financing \"soon,\" and added that they expected to \"hold an IPO at some time in the future. I see that being in the long term. My aim is to build a good company.\"  

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