Israel and Denmark already have Better Place’s battery exchange network installed and operational, and moving to focus on these countries should preserve funding as the company struggles to keep itself afloat.
Better Place started deliveries of Renault Fluence Z.E. electric vehicles in Israel and Denmark and said last summer that its electric vehicles had exceeded one million kilometers (625,000 miles) using battery-swapping stations in these two countries.
In a statement on Better Place’s Web site, Mr. Cohen, the new chief executive, said the company would focus in the short term on its operations in Israel and Denmark. “At the same time,” he said, “we had to make some difficult decisions on actions to be taken elsewhere in the world.”
Better Place, which has lost more than $500 million since its inception, has struggled to sign up customers and in late September the board of directors ousted Agassi and installed Evan Thornley, who ran Better Place’s Australian operations.
Thornley lasted fewer than three months and in January Better Place chairman and Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer took over some of the CEO duties. Ofer’s Israel Corp. has invested nearly $300 million into Better Place and is the company’s largest shareholder.
Late last month, Better Place named Dan Cohen, an executive in charge of the company’s strategic initiatives, as interim chief executive.