The loan marks the first-ever credit facility from a financial institution for Better Place and continues support for innovation and sustainable transportation by the European Investment Bank.
The majority of the proceeds from the loan (approximately €30 million) will be used to finalize network deployments and fund operations in Denmark. The remaining proceeds will be used for similar purposes in Israel.
The commitment from the European Investment Bank marks the fourth major commitment by a European Institution to Better Place as the company grows its European operations.
In Denmark, the Better Place network of Battery Switch Stations now connects Copenhagen to Aarhus, allowing Danish drivers to complete one of the most important routes in the country. The first Copenhagen Battery Switch Station in the Danish network – and soon a second one in Amsterdam – are part of a de-carbonization infrastructure project co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T program, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles.” Better Place also participates in the European Commission’s sustainable mobility project, “Green eMotion,” which is part of the European Green Car Initiative.
“Our goal is to continue to work with European institutions and partners who share our vision for electric transport so that one day you can drive from Copenhagen to Paris in a fully electric car by switching batteries along the way,” Agassi said. “The Copenhagen-Paris corridor is 1,220 kilometers, which is about the same distance I recently drove in a trip across Israel in a Renault Fluence Z.E., switching batteries without stopping to charge.”
On the automotive technology side, Better Place participates in the “EasyBat” consortium, which is developing off-the-shelf components and standardizing a generic interface between the battery and electric cars with switchable batteries. The project will make it easier for more automotive manufacturers to add this technology to their portfolio and meet the European Union’s 95 grams / kilometers tailpipe CO2 emissions standard.
In Israel, the company’s first market, more than half of the planned network of Battery Switch Stations is now available for use by customers, enabling drivers the freedom to drive across the country.
In Israel and Denmark combined, the company reported that it has more than 500 Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars with switchable batteries on the roads, logging 3 million electric kilometres year-to-date during the company’s controlled launch.
Better Place is backed by a world-class group of investors including HSBC and Israel Corp. that are fully dedicated to the company’s long-term success and view Better Place as a long-term, transformational investment in their portfolio. The company has raised more than $750 million of equity financing to date.