Monday, November 14, 2011

Lithium Drive: Better Place gets $200 million investment at 2.25 billion valuation ilc.v, tnr.v, czx.v, rm.v, lmr.v, abn.v, asm.v, btt.v, bva.v, bvg.v, epz.v, fst.v, gbn.v, hao.v, jnn.v, ks.v, ktn.v, kxm.v, mgn, mxr.v, rvm.to, svb, ura.v, nup.ax, srz.ax, usa.ax


  Looks like Better Place is back in the game or at least they are raising money again. Recently there was a total mass media black out on this company, but apparently it is still moving forward. Big boys are taking their seats in the Next Big Thing - Electric Cars. Among investors in this round are UBS and GE.
  Better Place has made the largest order in the history of Electric Cars for 100,000 of Renault Fluence ZE. Now the company has the cash for the down payment and its ambitious plan for the switching stations. Connection with China will be very interesting to watch: whether Chinese will allow Better Place for a market share there or will just push them to share technology and go forward alone.
  Stakes in this game are getting higher and it is still under the radar screens of the most investors.




IEA: World Energy Outlook 2011: Crude could reach $150 and warns of Irreversible Climate Change in Five Years


"We are just coming out of the "Europe's  End of The World" scenario, all world economies are on the edge of recession, but Oil is moving closer to $100 again. We have a very sobering reminder from IEA about the real issues behind all recent events in the financial markets. There is NOT enough Oil for everybody left, Peak Oil is all about the price and transportation is driving this demand with half of the global oil demand coming from China only. By 2015 more cars will be manufactured outside of OECD. Oil prices can go up to $150 by 2015 in the real terms and $176 in the nominal terms. It will be the major risk for the global economy. Time is to check your Lithium portfolio."




Lithium Drive: Better Place Unveils Europe’s First Battery Switch Station in Denmark

"Finally Better Place gets on the ground in Europe! We like the idea for our Lithium investments as it will increase the amount of Lithium batteries needed in order to have the ready and charged batteries at the Battery Switch Stations. Whether it will be commercially viable remains to be seen. Government support in this infrastructure roll out will be crucial, but it is the ready technological solution to dramatically quit Oil addiction within just a few years if somebody really liked to. 
  This scheme will require a large capital investments in order to build the Battery Switching Stations and keep the stock of the Lithium batteries. Customers will have to chose only one model of Electric Car at this moment, but it all will become irrelevant if Oil will be priced above $150. Israel is rolling out this system already, Denmark has now its first station and Australia has signed out as well now. Chinese are talking about thousands of Battery Switching Stations and they can succeed, because there it is the part of the new 12th Five Year Plan. 
  The very important message is that Electric Renault Fluence Z.E. price will be the lowest on the market compare to other Electric Cars. You will not own the battery and will have to lease it from the company. It is a smart solution, when warranty and battery's durability is taking out of customer decision process. This battery lease allows to make the pricing lower with monthly payments. Nobody pays for the gas upfront when we are buying ICE cars anyway. Better Place and Renault promised that the price for the Electric Car will be comparable to the Renault Fluence with diesel engine  and your running cost, including battery lease and electricity bills, will be at least the same at these gas price levels."


"Better Place Raises $200 Million Series C Financing

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(November 11, 2011) – With the launch of the first nationwide electric car networks in Israel and Denmark just months away, Better Place today announced that it has secured $200 million through a Series C equity financing from a consortium of top-tier investors and partners, nearly doubling the company's valuation to $2.25 billion (post money valuation on a fully diluted basis) since the last financing in January 2010. Since its founding in 2007, Better Place has raised more than $750 million of equity financing globally in an economic climate where investors continue to seek a competitive alternative to oil.

Better Place will use the proceeds to expand into Western Europe while it continues to advance the company's deployment projects in Northern California, Southern China, Japan, Ontario, Canada, and Hawaii. The company will launch its initial commercial service in Israel and Denmark early next year and has already announced a series of consumer offerings for electric mobility services that are competitive with gasoline-based cars. Better Place will begin initial commercial service in the second quarter of 2012 in Australia, starting in Canberra.

"We've worked hard over the past four years to engineer and build a technology solution that competes with oil-based transportation," said Shai Agassi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Better Place. "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, as we begin to push into new markets and attract new investors and new partners. I believe that our investors should be applauded for having the vision to finance the future of transportation."

New investors in the Series C round include GE and UBS AG, among others. Existing shareholders, including Israel Corp., HSBC Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Ofer Group and Maniv Energy Capital also joined the round. The Series C financing transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"With this round, our shareholder base now includes the world's largest banks, blue chip asset managers and leading industrial holding companies," said Idan Ofer, Chairman, Better Place. "Our Board, as well as all of our investors, continues to be both confident and enthusiastic about the opportunity that Better Place presents. The highly competent Better Place team has the talent and technology to rapidly deploy its electric car network on a global scale. Our Board and investor base are committed to leveraging their vast networks, experience, and diverse set of skills to accelerate the global adoption of electric cars."

BETTER PLACE TARGETS WESTERN EUROPE NEXT

By the end of the year, Better Place will have demonstrated its solution across four continents including locations in Europe, the Middle East, the U.S., Australia, China and Japan, with each project providing unique insights into these markets.

With the Series C financing, Better Place will expand its geographic footprint beyond Denmark and further into Western Europe where government policy supporting electric cars and interest in public / private partnership are the strongest.

The company, which currently has more than 100 employees in Europe, will leverage its Danish operations, its European Commission-approved projects, and its market-leading ecosystem of partners as the building blocks for expanding into Western Europe. In September, Better Place opened an office in Paris to serve as its European headquarters, which it will use as a base for attracting talent, investors, and partners.

BETTER PLACE SET TO LAUNCH COMMERCIAL SERVICE

Better Place will launch initial commercial service to a select group of customers in Israel and Denmark in the first quarter of 2012, expanding to full commercial operations over the following months. A similar process will follow in Canberra, Australia in the second quarter of 2012. The company is currently in the final technical validation stage of its solution along with the Renault Fluence Z.E. cars. Interest and demand for Better Place mobility services and the Renault Fluence Z.E. electric sedans continues to be very strong across all three initial markets. Better Place's goal is to help make the switchable battery electric car the top selling car in the markets it enters.

In Israel, Better Place has seen strong market demand from both fleets and consumers, as over 400 corporations, representing a potential of 80,000 employee cars, have signed letters of intent to begin switching their fleets to Better Place as the cars and the service become available.

Denmark is also seeing strong momentum. Almost 7,000 people have come to the Better Place Center in Copenhagen, opened earlier this year, with 90 percent expressing an interest in buying an electric car in the future. The company has received over 1,000 pre orders from both private and business customers. Better Place also has been successful in reaching agreements with 50 of the country's 98 municipalities, covering 69 percent of the population, related to infrastructure deployment and fleet transitions.

In Australia, the company's first large country deployment, Better Place has announced a series of agreements with multi-national companies, including Renault and GE, and leading local companies including ActewAGL, Lend Lease, and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), for the introduction of electric cars and the rapid deployment of an electric car network. By the end of 2013, Better Place expects to have the largest electric car network in the world in Australia, rivaling other competitive efforts underway in the U.S. and China.

About Better Place
Better Place is the leading global provider of electric car networks that enables the mass market adoption of electric cars through an innovative battery switch model that makes driving electric cars more affordable, convenient and sustainable than today's petrol-based cars. Better Place owns and operates a network of battery switch stations and public/personal charge spots, along with the supply of batteries that power the cars, to provide drivers with instant range extension and the convenience to drive, switch and go across an entire region. Where possible, Better Place uses renewable sources of energy to deliver fully zero emissions driving. The World Economic Forum has named Better Place a "Global Growth Company Industry Shaper" for its innovative approach in advancing the global switch to electric cars. Check out www.betterplace.com"
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