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Better Management for Better Place?

better placeBankrupt EV battery swapping company Better Place has been sold for $12 million to Sunrise Group, a group of American and Canadian businessmen led by Yosef Abramowitz.

Abramowitz is president, co-founder and CEO of Energiya Global Capital as well as president and Co-Founder of Arava Power Company. CNN named him a Green Pioneer of 2012.

Some $4.0 million is for the company’s Israeli assets and $6.9 million of the purchase price is for Better Place Switzerland’s intellectual property, according to media reports. As part of the deal, Sunrise will continue to operate 15 of Better Place’s stations in Israel and keep 50 of its 85 employees, CleanTechnica reports.

Abramowitz says he will open the company’s charging network to all electric cars — not just Better Place customers, Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reports. Better Place will no longer be losing money once it sells 5,000 EVs, according to Abramowitz. Currently, the company has 1,000 customers and only 350 cars to sell, the newspaper says.

The company will get a new name via a Facebook competition, Abramowitz says.

Better Place filed for bankruptcy in May, after winding down North American and Australian operations and focusing its efforts in Denmark and Israel, the company’s “two core markets,” three months prior. At the time, the company said it would retain the option to resume roll-out in other markets when circumstances permit.

But despite its efforts to secure funding and streamline business, Better Place’s revenues remain insufficient to cover operating costs, the company said upon filing a court motion in Israel on May 26 to liquidate the company. The board of directors called it a “very sad day,” but said the continued negative cash flow left it with no other option than to shut down the company.

Despite Better Place’s bankruptcy — and the apparent death of battery swapping technology — Tesla Motors debuted its EV battery swap system less than a month later. In June, the electric carmaker showed off a system that swaps battery packs in electric cars in about 90 seconds.

CEO Elon Musk said the system offers an alternative to charging EVs and should help convince consumers that EVs are “more convenient than a gasoline car.”

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