Israel Corp. (TASE: ILCO) is to inject a further $15.5 million into Project Better Place, the electric car project headed by CEO Shai Agassi.
In an announcement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning, Israel Corp. said it would inject cash in accordance with its share of the project. This is in addition to the $7.5 million that it has already invested in it.
The company said it would invest up to $100 million in the venture. This follows a presentation to the Israel Corp. board of the Better Place budget, including milestones and a fund-raising plan.
Vehicle industry sources said that the amounts invested in the project so far were fairly small compared with its planned scale. Most of the investment to date is apparently slated for assembly of a fleet of available electric cars that will be used to demonstrate and test the feasibility of the concept among private and government sector customers in Israel and other countries.
Project Better Place plans to launch a pilot with a few cars in Israel by year-end, and expand to several dozen more cars during 2009. The pilot will precede final development of regular electric cars by the Renault Nissan Alliance. The cost of each demonstration model, such as the Renault Megane that will be assembled in Israel is estimated at $80,000-100,000, of which $40,000 is for the car's special batteries.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on June 30, 2008
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