Record investment for electric car venture


(JTA) — A California-based electric car venture working in Israel has received the largest-ever funding deal in clean-tech investment.

Project Better Place, headed by Israeli-American Shai Agassi, on Monday signed a funding deal under which a consortium of investors will invest $350 million, according to reports.

The list of investors is led by HSBC, which invested $125 million, as well as Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Lazard Asset Management. Better Place’s original investors include Israeli companies and VantagePoint Venture Partners in Silicon Valley.

The company, founded in 2007, is now valued at $1.25 billion. Better Place has raised approximately $700 million from investors.

Better Place will make its commercial debut in Israel and Denmark in 2011.

The new funds will be devoted to research and development and putting in infrastructure to support electric cars in Israel and Denmark, Agassi told The New York Times Monday.

Better Place is set to provide charge points throughout the country for its batteries in electric cars, and also would provide switching stations to exchange a spent battery for a charged one en route. Batteries have a range of approximately 100 miles.  

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