Better Place Raises EUR 103M in Denmark

Better Place, a company developing charging networks for electric vehicles, announced in conjunction with DONG Energy, that it has closed approximately EUR 103 million in equity and convertible debt for the initial deployment of their electric car charging network in Denmark.

Under the terms of the agreement, DONG Energy will assist in the Better Place Denmark network rollout as well as be the preferred supplier of renewable energy to power the network. The companies plan to enable the widespread adoption of mass-market electric vehicles in Denmark by 2011.

In conjunction with today’s news, Better Place named Jens Moberg as Head of Better Place Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Business Development and Chief Executive Officer of Better Place Denmark. As CEO, Mr. Moberg will focus on establishing Denmark as its first operation in Europe and play a significant role in expanding Better Place to other European countries. He joins Better Place Denmark from Microsoft Corp., where he was responsible for developing and growing Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar enterprise business in Russia, India and China. Mr. Moberg’s appointment is effective February 2.

“In Jens Moberg, we’ve selected a world-class business executive to help us implement our model in Denmark, which will serve as a showcase for Europe and the rest of the world as they come to Copenhagen for COP15 in December,” Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place said.

Denmark, which has access to depleting oil reserves in the North Sea, currently generates approximately 20% of its electric power from wind-generating utilities, including DONG Energy. To date, 7% of wind-generated power within Denmark is exported to other countries because there is no way for utilities to store the excess power. With the Better Place model, Denmark now has the opportunity to leverage the existing electric grid and electric vehicle batteries to harness and store the abundance of wind-generated power and distribute appropriately for transportation consumption.

The Danish government encourages its society to switch from petrol-based cars to zero emission vehicles and is committed to helping the country reduce its CO2 emissions by 21% by 2012. Just by switching all vehicles to electric, Denmark could effectively reduce its current CO2 emissions by 17%, Better Place said. Today, the Danish government incents consumers to purchase zero emission vehicles by applying zero tax for zero emission vehicles while applying up to a 180% tax on the purchase of petrol-based cars.

In March 2008, Better Place named Better Place Denmark as its second operator following Israel, which recently unveiled its first installed electric charge spots. Starting in 2011 through the extensive network, The Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to commercialize a complete range of EVs especially adapted to Danish customer requirements.

Better Place has announced plans for similar network deployments in Australia, California, Hawaii and most recently Ontario, Canada.

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