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07/15/2013 03:39 PM     print story email story  

Bankrupt Electric Car Companies Re-emerge

SustainableBusiness.com News

Two electric car companies that recently went under are re-emerging in different ways, CODA and Better Place.

In May, electric car manufacturer CODA Automotive filed for bankruptcy, and is now returning as an energy storage firm.

The new company, CODA Energy, will design and build scalable energy storage projects that support a smart grid. Energy storage is much less capital-intensive than making cars and demand is rising.

It will be co-managed by Ed Solar, who led CODA's energy storage division, and Pete Nortman, who led the core technology engineering team. 

Advanced batteries configured into modular towers or building blocks - the CODA Core - will be centrally managed and  optimized for "generation, distribution and behind-the-meter applications for commercial & industrial end users, and can be adapted for utility, community and residential applications," the company says.

In San Diego, a community-scale CODA energy storage system helps an apartment complex cut peak electricity consumption and use excess solar power it generates during the day at night.  In San Francisco, two InterContinental hotels use the system to reduce peak electricity consumption and associated demand charges. 

Fortress Investment Group led a consortium of investors which acquired Coda Automotive's core technology, engineering and energy storage assets, along with key contracts and partnerships. 

The global energy storage market is expected to grow nine-fold to $10.4 billion by 2017, according to Lux Research.

Better Place

Better Place, which also declared bankruptcy in May, has sold its electric car battery swapping company to Sunrise Group for  $12 million, after some 70 companies showed interest.

The group of American and Canadian businessmen and Better Place car owners in Israel, is led by solar entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, co-founder and CEO of Energiya Global Capital and Arava Power Company, which aims to supply 10% of Israel's electricity with solar.

Sunrise plans to continue Better Place's battery swapping business and sales of electric cars, including 15 charging stations in Israel, and 50 of its 85 employees. Anyone with an electric car will be able to use them.

The question now is whether it's the concept of battery swapping that didn't work or whether it was Better Place's management. Tesla, which was just boosted to the Nasdaq 100, recently unveiled its own battery swapping network, so there's obvious interest in the technology.



Reader Comments (1)

Author:
Derek browns

Date Posted:
07/16/13 11:42 PM

This was an amazing read, thank you so much for posting this

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