Better Place's Plan: Recharging Auto Batteries for All

Better Place is also trying to remove barriers to selling its electric cars - such as worries about their resale value, which are a disincentive for leasing.

Daniel Schmil
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After two months of reevaluating its strategy, the struggling electric vehicle-refueling company Better Place on Tuesday presented its new business model.

The company has made many internal changes and reduced expenditures, CEO Evan Thornley told TheMarker. Noting the extensive layoffs at the firm, Thornley said the period of consolidation is behind it.

On increasing revenues, Thornley is vague. He said customers take center stage, and in the past the media coverage concentrated more on the company and less on the car and the experience of driving an electric car.

The company's new strategy will focus more on providing services to all electric cars, and less on producing and selling its own vehicles as in the past.

Battery-charging services for electric cars would operate much like a chain of gas stations for the vehicles. Thornley wants other manufacturers to use Better Place's charging network for the cars they sell. But Thornley is not saying the company will lower prices. The focus must be on the experience of driving a clean, cutting-edge vehicle, and drivers are willing to pay more for such an experience - just as they pay more for BMWs, said Thornley.

Price dilemma

Better Place is also trying to remove barriers to selling its electric cars - such as worries about their resale value, which are a disincentive for leasing.

Better Place CEO Evan Thornley. Credit: David Bachar