In the well-known book “Start-Up Nation” by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, which was devoted to enumerating the advanced technological achievements of a small nation by the name of Israel, the first 11 pages of the book are devoted to describing the birth of an Israeli hi-tech start-up company, under the entrepreneurial leadership of another boy-wonder by the name of Shai Agassi. Agassi, was another of the young geniuses who had made millions, if not billion, of dollars as a successful hi-tech entrepreneur.
In 2007, at a meeting between the young entrepreneur, Shai Agassi, Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, and the CEO of Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, a new company was born, “A Better Place”. The new company was going to revolutionize the global automotive industry by producing electric vehicles that would eliminate the practical problems of electric powered vehicles.
The company would be based in Israel and Agassi very quickly raised over $800 billion in investments – “A Better Place” was off to the races. Burton Figler, Winthrop resident visited the “A Better Place” facilities in Tel Aviv in 2012 and enjoyed driving its Renault-built electric car around the company’s test track. He also witnessed the innovative technology that differentiated “A Better Place” from other electric car wannabees, such as Tesla – he watched as the car’s battery was swapped out and replaced with another fully charged battery in less than five minutes. The more conventional technology of fully recharging an electric car’s depleted battery could take six hours or more.
But, in 2013, “A Better Place,” declared bankruptcy and closed its doors! What went wrong?
If you want hear the story of the rise and fall of “A Better Place,” you are invited to a slide presentation by Burton Figler at which you can hear his interpretation of what happened. The presentation, titled, “A Better Place, the Rise and Fall of an Israeli Electric Car Company” will take place at Temple Tifereth Israel in Winthrop, on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. All are invited to attend and there is no charge. Reservations are not required and light refreshments will be provided.
Temple Tifereth Israel is at 93 Veterans Road in Winthrop. For additional information, call 617-846-1390 or e-mail to [email protected]