Solar pioneer "Captain Sunshine," aka Yosef Abramowitz, has failed in his bid to take over bankrupt company Better Place, which specializes in electric vehicle charging and battery swaps. Abramowitz, who built Israel's first commercial solar field about two years ago, failed to make a monthly payment of $1 million on August 25 to Better Place's liquidator.
Better Place is now going to Success Parking, an Israeli parking garage company, which lost out to Abramowitz last month. Success Parking led a consortium that included Car Charging Group. Abromowitz had agreed to pay $4.9 million for Better Place's assets and another $6.9 million for Better Place Switzerland's intellectual property. Tzachi Merkur, CEO of Success Parking, will only be paying about $3 million for Better Place. That's coming from reports from The Marker, which does not mention whether that includes assets and intellectual property.
Last month, Abramowitz won the bidding for Better Place in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Electric Transport in Israel. Captain Sunshine said there was another side to the story – the liquidator didn't provide lists of drivers to bill for using the battery-swap stations – and the needed revenue couldn't be generated. Abramowitz also said that Israel's Transportation Ministry wouldn't release 350 Better Place cars held at its port unless he purchased an import license.
Better Place and its founder CEO Shai Agassi, had high hopes for Israel coming through for the battery-swap innovator. Now, it's not looking so good.