Better Place Sale Proceeds With NIS 2 Million Down Payment

Bankrupt company’s battery charging infrastructure will keep on running with funds provided by new investor.

The acquisition of high-profile electric vehicle startup Better Place by United States investment company Green EV proceeded on Tuesday, with the transfer of an initial payment of NIS 2 million into an escrow account. The money will be used by Better Place to continue operating its battery replacement and charging facilities for electric car owners.

Tuesday’s payment complied with the last week’s extension of Green EV’s payment deadline until August 6 by Israel's Central District Court. Green EV raised the funds for the down-payment from American businessman Jonathan Javitt, who is now part of the company. The company was founded by American-Israeli solar power entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz and Canadian businessman Henry Shiner, along with the non-profit Association for the Promotion of the Electric Car in Israel, which represents Better Place's car owners in Israel.

Green EV posted an announcement on Better Place's website saying that Israel had received a second chance to continue developing an electric transportation system which, the company hoped, would eventually be used in many other countries.

The court authorized the sale of Better Place to the company, then called Sunrise, in a liquidation sale last month. Green EV will pay NIS 18 million for the company's operations and regular assets and NIS 25 million for its intellectual property. The court accepted Sunrise’s offer over a competing offer from a consortium comprising the American Car Charging Group and Israeli parking lot chain Success Parking, run by businessman Tsachi Merkur.

An electric car from the failed Better Place venture recharging its batteries.
Tomer Appelbaum