Better Place Raises $23M for Australian EV Charging

Dec 9 2009 | 10:23am ET

The Australian subsidiary of the California electric car maker Better Place has raised AUD 25 million ($23 million) in a seed funding round led by Lend Lease Ventures and with the participation of ActewAGL and a number of private investors.

The money will be used for the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network powered by renewable energy in Australia. Better Place aims to raise AUD 1 billion ($922 million) to fund the network.

Macquarie Capital is providing advisory services for the fundraising.

Better Place hopes to overcome charge-time and range limitations in EV batteries by building a network of battery-swapping and charging stations. This initial funding will be used to finance the development and trial of the first phase of deployment, which is slated for Canberra in 2011. AGL Energy will supply electricity generated from renewable sources for the project.

As part of the deal, Lend Lease will take a seat on Better Place Australia’s board. Harrison Young, a member of the board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the court of directors of the Bank of England, will also join the board as independent chairman.

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