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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Why ‘Better Place’ Really Failed

It really failed because of Shimon Peres.

Israeli President Shimon Peres staring with mild shock at the excitable CEO of automobile manufacturers Renault and Nissan French Carlos Ghosn, whose companies teamed up with Shai Agassi's Better Place of Palo Alto, California.

Israeli President Shimon Peres staring with mild shock at the excitable CEO of automobile manufacturers Renault and Nissan French Carlos Ghosn, whose companies teamed up with Shai Agassi's Better Place of Palo Alto, California.
Photo Credit: Michal Fattal/Flash90

There are plenty of pundits and market experts explaining why they believe Better Place – Israel’s electric car company, failed.

I know the two primary reasons I didn’t buy/lease one, but I wouldn’t give those as the explanation as to why it failed.

I didn’t buy/lease one, because I need an electric minivan, not an electric car, so in terms of the car model, it just didn’t meet my needs at all.

The second reason is the pricing model.

One can argue back and forth with Brian of London as to whether there really was a price savings or not (I don’t think so, and definitely not one significant enough to convince me to buy one), but as the case proved, locking yourself into someone’s electric grid monopoly and very unappealing pricing model (lease, sort of lease, etc. whatever it was) with no alternative options, just seemed like a really bad idea to me.

But that’s not really why it failed.

It really failed because of Shimon Peres.

Peres did a great job getting everyone on board in terms of investing money in Better Place, but when it came to following up in the implementation of the idea, he dropped the ball and it failed.

Does our President have an electric car?

Is the President’s office car pool full of electric cars?

I don’t believe the answer is yes, to either question.

Because like other Shimon Peres schemes, its good for everyone else to suffer through his ideas, but he personally won’t be directly affected by it.

Remind you of anything else Peres has promoted?

For that matter, after granting Better Place a monopoly, was there any government agency that chose to use it and go electric? None that I’m aware of.

Nothing would have saved/grown Better Place more than a government contract to supply them with a fleet of electric cars.

Peres was great when it comes to getting money from investors for Better Peace, I mean Place, and getting them a government sanctioned monopoly, but when it came to following up and seeing if there are any real problems which he could have helped fix (such as lobbying the government to actually use it, and not just the citizens)… well, that’s far less interesting than meeting with rich investors, isn’t it?

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JoeSettler

About the Author: JoeSettler blogs at The Muqata.blogspot.com and occasionally on his own blog at JoeSettler.blogspot.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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