EV infrastructure company, BetterPlace, drops out of North America and Australia

EV infrastructure company, BetterPlace, drops out of North America and AustraliaBetterPlace, an electric vehicle charging company, has announced its withdrawal from the North American and Australian markets, deciding to instead refocus on its original investment regions, Israel and Denmark.

The San Francisco Business Times is reporting that the Palo Alto-based EV company will be closing up shop in order to pare down its scope and stem its current losses.

At its core, the company seemed like a brilliant idea. Focusing on EV recharging stations, EV battery swaps, and pay-by-the-mile EV usage – much like a cell phone plan – seemed ingenious. However, after accruing  nearly $750-million in investments and losing more than a half billion of that, BetterPlace has proved that the marketplace is perhaps not quite ready for such a service.

Green Car Reports is reporting that BetterPlace had agreed to support the fledgling Renault EV sedan called the “Fluence” for the Australian market. Now that BetterPlace has abandoned those plans, it’s unclear what will be Renault’s next move for the Fluence.

Current BetterPlace CEO Dan Cohen – the third CEO in four months – said in a prepared statement, “We have demonstrated that Better Place works as a concept. We need to prove to our customers, suppliers and investors that we have a sustainable, scalable model.”

We doubt very much that this is the last time we’ll hear glum news from BetterPlace, given its track record. It’s a real shame, though. We had hoped that battery swapping could become a new way forward for EVs. We thought battery swapping might prove a viable alternative in the EV marketplace, that is, until battery technology improves, providing customers with longer ranges. Until a bigger name than BetterPlace picks up on it, the concept seems to be DOA.

Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Home Theater

MicroLED vs. OLED: Two hot TV technologies battle for your dollars

Samsung claims its new MicroLED TV tech offers all the benefits of OLED without the drawbacks. Join Digital Trends to take a close look to see if MicroLED TV lives up to the hype, and where it could go in the future.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Gaming

The PS5 rumors are heating up with reports of a potential 2020 release window

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Mobile

Samsung CEO says its foldable phone will double as a tablet

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Cars

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.
Cars

Watch this 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk scorch supercars in the quarter mile

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is pretty quick out of the box, but Texas tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering never settles for stock. Its HPE1200 Trackhawk boasts over 1,000 horsepower.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.