shai agassi better place

Shai Agassi's faith remains strong. The Better Place founder, who was removed as the company's CEO in October, still believes that a company that powers electric vehicles with swappable batteries and a subscription-based revenue model can be successful ... if operated properly.

While declining to disclose the details behind his departure, citing a confidentiality agreement, Agassi told GigaOm that he didn't "have an issue with the model, I had a problem with the company." He also noted that Better Place's electric vehicles account for about one out of every 200 new cars in Israel, making him optimistic about the concept's future.

Earlier this week, Better Place said it was shuttering its US and Australia operations to focus on Israel and Denmark, which the company considers its "core markets." The company has reportedly racked up well over a half-billion dollars in losses since Agassi founded it in 2007, though it did raise $100 million in December, mostly from its largest shareholder Israel Corp.

Agassi was pushed out as CEO in October and replaced by Better Place's Australia chief Evan Thornley, who himself stepped down in January.