Renault Blindsided by Better Place Bankruptcy

YERUSHALAYIM -

Electric Car Owners Try to Block Liquidation

Renault, the maker of the Fluence ZE electric car for Better Place, was blindsided by the latter’s bankruptcy announcement this week, according to Globes.

Better Place claims it was not notified in advance about the collapse the company and its petition for liquidation of €65 million, which is owed as a secured creditor.

Renault has filed a motion with the Central District Court to be recognized as a party to the liquidation, and for the court to order Better Place to submit all the court documents to Renault’s attorneys.

Renault explained on Monday that the debt is for the supply of batteries for the Fluence cars.

Renault states, “This motion was filed after the company learned about Better Place’s petition for liquidation in the press. The undersigned asked Better Place’s attorneys for clarification, because Renault is a secured creditor and wants a copy of the petitions filed, but regrettably this request has not been answered, despite promises to do so.”

But Renault may not be the biggest loser in the Better Place fiasco. Owners of Fluence ZE cars purchased from Better Place have also petitioned the court for an urgent hearing. They are seeking to block appointment of a liquidator, in order to first consider options for salvaging the company and temporarily operate it.

“The main victims of the company’s collapse are the buyers of the cars, who depend on the company for their operation, and are liable to end up in a hopeless situation with the start of liquidation proceedings,” state the car owners in their motion.

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz offered some hope earlier in the week, saying he would be looking into a recovery plan.

“This is a national project that promises a cleaner and greener future,” Peretz said. “Its closure would cause serious damage to those who believed in the new project and who will find themselves in a hopeless situation, and will bring harm to employees. The State of Israel contributed to the electric cars so that they were virtually a tax-free purchase. More effort must be made in order to save this project.”