Better Place has secured a €40-million (US$50-million) loan from the European Investment Bank. The loan marks the first-ever credit facility from a financial institution for Better Place.
The majority of the proceeds from the loan (approximately €30 million, US$37 million) will be used to finalize network deployments and fund operations in Denmark. The remaining proceeds will be used for similar purposes in Israel.
After a comprehensive due diligence process, the European Investment Bank has concluded that Better Place represents both a classic infrastructure project and a clear step towards innovative low carbon transport. The credit facility gives us a more flexible, balanced capital structure that allows us to expand our operations without solely relying on equity.—Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place
The commitment from the European Investment Bank marks the fourth major commitment by a European Institution to Better Place as the company grows its European operations.
In Denmark, the Better Place network of Battery Switch Stations now connects Copenhagen to Aarhus. The first Copenhagen Battery Switch Station in the Danish network—and soon a second one in Amsterdam—are part of a de-carbonization infrastructure project co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T program, “Greening European Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles.” Better Place also participates in the European Commission’s sustainable mobility project, “Green eMotion,” which is part of the European Green Car Initiative.
On the automotive technology side, Better Place participates in the “EasyBat” consortium, which is developing off-the-shelf components and standardizing a generic interface between the battery and electric cars with switchable batteries.
Our goal is to continue to work with European institutions and partners who share our vision for electric transport so that one day you can drive from Copenhagen to Paris in a fully electric car by switching batteries along the way. The Copenhagen-Paris corridor is 1,220 kilometers [758 miles], which is about the same distance I recently drove in a trip across Israel in a Renault Fluence Z.E., switching batteries without stopping to charge.—Shai Agassi
In Israel, the company’s first market, more than half of the planned network of Battery Switch Stations is now available for use by customers, enabling drivers the freedom to drive across the country.
In Israel and Denmark combined, the company has more than 500 Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars with switchable batteries on the roads, logging 3 million electric kilometers (1.86 million miles) year-to-date during the company’s controlled launch.