JERUSALEM Nov 27 Beleaguered electric car
venture Better Place posted a steeper third-quarter loss, the
latest sign that its global gasoline-free network is struggling
to take off.
The quarterly $71.2 million loss was greater than $65.8
million a year earlier and brought the total loss for the
January to September period to $203 million.
Better Place's results were part of an earnings report on
Tuesday by Israel Corp, which owns about 30 percent.
And it was the first report since Better Place replaced its
chief executive and founder Shai Agassi in October.
The California-based company's network consists of charging
spots and battery swap stations that increase driving range. It
has started to deploy with much fanfare in Israel and Denmark
and plans to expand to Australia.
But sales have been sluggish.
Better Place partnered with Renault in 2008 and
committed to a production run of 100,000 electric cars for
Israel and Denmark. Two months ago, Better Place said that just
500 cars were on the roads in the two countries combined.
Much of that forecast had been based on soft orders from
owners of large fleets in Israel, but Israeli media have
reported that a number of the fleets are backing out.
"(Better Place) has incurred net losses and negative cash
flow from operations and currently has an accumulated deficit of
$561.5 million, and expects to have losses and negative cash
flow in future periods," Israel Corp said in its report.
Better Place is trying to raise $100 million in an issue of
preferred stock, two-thirds of which will come from Israel Corp,
which has said it viewed the electric car venture as a long term