Better Place announced yesterday the promotion of Evan Thornley, Chief Executive Officer of Better Place Australia, to CEO of the global company.
Former CEO and Better Place Founder Shai Agassi will continue as a Board member and shareholder in the company he founded.
Over the past five years, Agassi has pushed forward technology solutions aimed at making electric cars more affordable and more convenient than gasoline cars. What started as an idea of “running a country without oil” in a white paper quickly evolved from vision to reality in the company’s first two markets, Israel and Denmark.
Agassi is a former top executive at German software maker SAP.
Better Place said the deployment of the charging and switching networks for electric cars in Israel and Denmark, coupled with a rapidly growing global customer base, have made Agassi’s vision a reality.
“Five years ago, I followed my passion to make the world a better place and founded a company to materialize that vision. Very few people are blessed to see such a grand vision become a proven reality within a relatively short time frame,” said Agassi. “I am proud of the Better Place people and the team that I am leaving behind who will take this company to the next chapter.”
Thornley will assume the global CEO role, effective immediately. Better Place said that since joining in 2009, Thornley’s vision for the future of sustainable transportation in Australia helped to shape the 2020 roadmap embraced by the government and industry. He was instrumental in the creation of EV Engineering Ltd., a collaborative venture between global automotive leaders, to develop and create switchable-battery electric car technology.
An entrepreneur at heart, Thornley founded one of the first Australian technology companies to be listed on the NASDAQ.
“Four years ago, Shai asked me to join the Better Place mission and bring it to Australia. It has been my pleasure to lead that effort along with my colleague CEOs in Israel, Denmark and now the Netherlands. Today, it is an honor for me to step up and lead this fantastic global team on a day-to-day basis,” said Evan Thornley, newly appointed CEO of Better Place.
Through a partnership with Renault, Better Place is close to completing its goals of nationwide EV networks in Israel and Denmark. The infrastructure being built includes changing stations that should allow travelers to swap their batteries in a matter of minutes.