FORTUNE -- Electric car company Better Place is planning to file for bankruptcy within the next several days, Fortune has learned.
The move will come seven months after the ouster of charismatic founder Shai Agassi, and five months after his successor -- Evan Thornley, CEO of Better Place Australia -- also departed.
Agassi also was a significant investor in the company, which had raised more than $700 million from firms like HSBC, General Electric (GE), Israel Corp., Lazard Asset Management (LAZ), Morgan Stanley (MS) and VantagePoint Capital Partners.
Related: Shai Agassi's ouster no surprise
Better Place originally launched in late 2007 to build out a network of battery-swapping stations for electric cars (basically a twist on charging stations). Its premise was that the electric car market would eventually take off thanks to rising oil prices and the decline of traditional automakers. And, when that happened, Better Place already would be built out and ready to serve.
But when oil hit $125 per barrel and General Motors (GM) filed for bankruptcy within just 18 months into Better Place's existence, it failed to successfully execute.
"The company was not well-served by having things it thought would happen over a decade happen within a year," says a close familiar with the situation. "Ultimately the idea was always based around scale, and it just didn't build it fast enough or well enough."
I also reached out to my Fortune colleague Brian Dumaine, who has covered Better Place in the past. He believes that the company underestimated the time and expense of everything from purchasing land to dealing with permitting to tearing up the streets for charger installations. He adds that another other major issue was that most electric car-makers -- such as Tesla Motors (TSLA) -- saw no reason to either make or install swappable batteries, since the battery and control system are considered each EV maker's special sauce. The only exception was Nissan's Renault unit, which produced a Better Place-compatible vehicle.
No word yet on what Better Place plans to do with its assets. A company spokeswoman has not responded to a request for comment.
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Bloom privately reports $32 million Q3 loss.
FORTUNE -- For years, the knock on fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corp. has been that its boxes cost more to make than they cost to buy. Not exactly the sort of dynamic that would help Bloom make it up on volume.
But perhaps things are finally about to change, after 10 years and nearly $1 billion in venture capital funding.
Fortune recently obtained confidential documents MOREDan Primack - Nov 14, 2012 8:01 AM ET
Gingrich hasn't always mocked algae-based energy.
Newt Gingrich this week opened up a new line of attack on President Obama's energy policy, mocking Obama's recent comment that fuels are being developed from algae. From a speech Gingrich gave to supporters in Tennessee on Monday night:
The President said we have to be practical. Drilling won't solve it. And then he offered his practical solution. Anybody here remember what it was? Algae. Algae. MOREDan Primack - Mar 15, 2012 12:13 PM ET
Biofuel startup Qteros has laid off CEO John McCarthy and most of its other Boston-area employees, Fortune has learned.
The Marlborough, Mass.-based company was founded in 1996 as SunEthanol, with a focus developing and commercializing cellulosic ethanol. It raised over $35 million in venture capital funding, from such firms as Battery Ventures, Venrock, Long River Ventures, BP (BP) and Valero Energy (VLO). There also was a Dow Jones report in July MOREDan Primack - Nov 17, 2011 2:45 PM ET
Obama critics think they've found another solar scandal. They're wrong.
Matt Drudge seems to think he has found the next solar scandal to chip away at President Obama's poll numbers:
The link is to a blog post in The Weekly Standard, about a recent loan $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to a solar energy company called SolarReserve. More specifically, the post insinuates that DoE approved the loan MOREDan Primack - Sep 29, 2011 3:26 PM ET
Solyndra did what it said it would do with taxpayer money. But should it have been asked to do more?
A lot of Solyndra coverage has focused on the Department of Energy loan restructuring and resulting repayment priority, and we've certainly done our share. But I'm also interested in the original $535 million loan itself, which was designed to finance the construction of a large new manufacturing facility (which was, in MOREDan Primack - Sep 23, 2011 2:59 PM ET
Bloom Energy powers up with big new funding round.
Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy has not received any Department of Energy grants, but it sure does keep raking in the private financing. Fortune has learned that the Silicon Valley-based company recently raised $150 million in new venture capital at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation.
Impressive for a company that receives eye rolls from virtually every cleantech VC who hasn't yet invested in it. MOREDan Primack - Sep 15, 2011 1:05 PM ET
To understand the future of cleantech, we must analyze the past.
By Matthew Nordan, contributor
I entered the venture capital business two years ago, focusing on cleantech start-ups. It's kind of like picking a future NBA draft by watching eighth graders play basketball: There are many years worth of development to go, and the subjects will look a lot different once they're all grown up. The key is excellent pattern recognition – MORESep 14, 2011 12:41 PM ET
A solar energy CEO discusses the pending bankruptcy of Solyndra, which had raised more than $1.5 billion from private investors and the U.S. government.
By Barry Cinnamon, contributor
The epitaph for Solyndra is significant because of what was not a factor in their demise. It was certainly not for a lack of trying. But more importantly, it was not because of Chinese competition or a lack of U.S. government support.
Chinese solar panels MOREAug 31, 2011 3:03 PM ET
One of America's most expensive cleantech bets just bit the dust.
Solar panel maker Solyndra today said that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after failing to successfully compete against lower-cost Chinese manufacturers. It is one of largest failures ever suffered by venture capitalists, and a major black eye for a U.S. Department of Energy that loaned the company more than $500 million.
The company has not yet filed its MOREDan Primack - Aug 31, 2011 1:49 PM ET
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