Better Place raises $200 million; EV infrastructure in Europe

Summary:Electric vehicle infrastructure provider Better Place raised $200 million in a round of financing, helping it fund further expansion in Western Europe.

Electric vehicle infrastructure provider Better Place announced on Friday that it raised $200 million in a round of financing, helping it fund further expansion in Western Europe.

The financing -- which came from a group that included existing investors Israel Corp., HSBC, Morgan Stanley, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Ofer Group and Maniv Energy Capital as well as new investors GE and UBS -- almost doubles the company's valuation to $2.25 billion.

Better Place seeks to use battery-switching stations to extend the range of electric cars and assist them in being competitive with their gasoline counterparts.

The company is currently working to deploy projects in Northern California, Southern China, Japan, Ontario, Canada and Hawaii and expects to launch commercial service in Israel, Denmark and Australia early next year.

"We are entering the next phase of growth for our company where we prove that our solution works, that it’s in demand, and that it scales," CEO Shai Agassi said in a statement.

The new funding allows the company to use Denmark as a jump-off point for new European projects, particularly in the west where government policies favor electric cars and public-private partnerships. It already has more than 100 employees based on the continent, as well as a regional headquarters in Paris.

As for the cars, the company is in the final technical validation stage for the Renault Fluence Z.E. electric sedan; it says it received more than 1,000 preorders for its solution.

Related on SmartPlanet:

Photo: Better Place

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Topics: Innovation


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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