Danish power co halts Better Place investments
Jan 24, 2013 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Electric car venture Better Place Inc's Danish strategic partner Dong Energy A/S has notified the company that it is halting investment in it. The Danish media quotes Dong Energy chairman Fritz Schur as saying that the decision was taken last autumn.
Dong Energy has invested $160 million in Better Place to date, and owns 17 percent of Better Place Denmark.
Better Place Denmark's spokesman said, "The Danes are not queuing up to buy the electric car." He added, "We still believe that sales will pick up now that the company recently built 18 battery replacement stations and 300 double recharging terminals across Denmark. The company will provide recharging services for all manufacturers, including Tesla and Volkswagen."
Dong Energy was one Better Place's first strategic investors in October 2007. Dong Energy was due to provide Better Place with renewable electricity from the power company's wind farms for storage in Better Place's batteries during the night.
In January 2009, Dong Energy invested EUR103 million in Better Place Denmark, but its timetable for entering the market was postponed several times. In 2012, which was supposed to be the breakout year in Denmark, Better Place sold fewer than 180 Renault Fluence ZE electric cars, mostly to investment institutions.
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