Israel's Electric Car Will Cut Its Oil Needs
On Jan. 21 the Israeli government announced its support of an ambitious plan to install the world's first electric car network in Israel by 2011. The initiative is aimed at addressing global dependence on foreign oil from undemocratic regimes and mitigating the health and environmental damages caused by emissions from gas-burning vehicles.
"Today is a new age with new dangers and the greatest danger is that of oil. It is the greatest polluter of our age and oil is the greatest financier of terror," said Israeli President Shimon Peres.
In a joint venture, Project Better Place, owned by Israeli-American entrepreneur Shai Agassi, will provide lithium-ion batteries and the infrastructure to refresh or replace them, while Renault and Nissan will build the cars. With the goal of making Israel a laboratory test for a new model of environmentally efficient transportation, Israel will offer tax incentives to purchasers.
The innovative model, developed by Agassi, would provide consumers with inexpensive cars, and they would pay a monthly fee for expected mileage, like minutes on a cell phone plan. Project Better Place will provide infrastructure including parking meter-like plugs on city streets or service stations along highways at which batteries can be replaced.
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