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Multi-million investment hints at UK battery swap shops

Better Place wins $350m funding

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Leccy Tech A UK rollout of Better Place’s battery swapping system now looks all the more certain. The firm has just secured a $350m (£216m) investment from some of the world’s largest banks.

The money - $125m (£77m) of which was provided by HSBC – will be used to help Better Place “expand its geographic footprint” by expanding into markets in Europe and Asia.

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Better Place confirmed late last year that it will install its battery swap shops across Israel and Denmark by the end of 2011. A UK-specific rollout hasn’t been announced, but HSBC said it’s keen to see the technology deployed in markets with policies favouring e-car adoption.

“We expect the Better Place model to be widely adopted across many countries and cities,” said Kevin Adeson, Head of Global Capital Financing at HSBC.

The Better Place system is essentially an automated battery switcher that removes an e-car’s flat battery and then replaces it with a charged one. The company demonstrated last year how the procedure could be executed in just over 60 seconds.

The company is now valued at $1.2bn (£742m) which includes an earlier round of funding - secured back in 2007 – worth $200m (£123m). ®

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