Better Place, the electric car/infrastructure start-up, announced today that it closed $135 million in equity and convertible debt, in conjunction with DONG Energy of Denmark. This money will be used to keep the company’s plans for electric car infrastructure in Denmark on track.
Better Place implements and oversees a system for countries wanting to wean themselves from gas powered autos. Rather than refuel your car at a gas station, Better Place wants to create battery switching stations where a driver would get a fresh battery when they were running low for long trips, as well as charging charging stations to power up the car on shorter trips and software to keep an eye on battery power.
Denmark, the second nation where Better Place is deploying its business, has made it easy for the start-up by providing loads of tax incentives. Danes that buy a gas car pay a 180% tax; those that buy a zero emission car, like what Better Place makes, pay zero per cent in taxes on the purchase. Israel was the first nation to work with Better Place. (See this excellent profile in Wired.)
As part of this deal, DONG, the largest Danish energy producer, will be the preferred energy supplier to Better Place’s charging stations. Renault-Nissan will be manufacturing the cars. The plan is on pace to be finished by 2011.
Better Place also announced that it hired Jens Moberg as Head of Better Place Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Business Development and Chief Executive Officer of Better Place Denmark. Moberg, was formally with Microsoft, overseeing India, Russia and China business development. He will be in charge of the Denamark operation and further European expansion.
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