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How can tiny Tesla compete against the big auto makers? – The Globe and Mail

Last Sunday another player in the electric vehicle (EV) game went bust. Better Place, founded in 2007 with a plan to provide battery-swapping stations for EVs, filed for bankruptcy.

I am not surprised. Nearly four years ago I wrote here in the Globe that I doubted Better Place would find the millions, if not billions, necessary to make its grandiose EV infrastructure ideas a reality. More importantly, it seemed obvious in the fall of 2009 that Better Place’s battery-swap concept required something that would never happen in the highly competitive car business: a standardized battery pack and electric vehicle design.

Undaunted, then-CEO Shai Agassi told me Better Place was “in serious discussions with 10 companies” on a standardization approach. I was skeptical. Agassi, I wrote, gave me the “feeling that he thinks I’m a bit of an idiot for even suggesting that he and his company might struggle to achieve the lofty goal of making the electric car the only sensible, practical transportation choice in the 21st century.”



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