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Electric Car Startup Better Place Pulls Plug On U.S., Australia

A growing number of cars in the U.S. run either entirely or partially on electric power, and that trend is likely to accelerate with time. The shift from gasoline to electricity will present plenty of opportunities for auto start-ups, but one is already calling it quits.

As our colleagues at Green Car Reports note, the electric car company known as Better Place has pulled the plug on its U.S. and Australian operations. Better Place will continue to sell and service vehicles in Israel (where founder Shai Agassi resides) and in Denmark, but it will shutter its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California and its offices in Australia.

Does this spell doom for the future of electric cars? Not in the least.

What does it mean for consumers? The jury is still out on that question.

On the one hand, Better Place could simply be another victim of mismanagement. The company has been the subject of rumor and speculation for months, ever since it removed Agassi from his position as CEO and canned 40% of its workforce. Lackluster sales figures didn’t help, either. In December, Better Place hired marketing whiz Peter Economides to refine the company’s message, but it may have been too little, too late.



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