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  • Israel plans electric car network

    By Fiona Harvey and John Reed in London and Tobias Buck in Jerusalem
    January 20 2008

    Israel will set out plans on Monday to cut drastically its dependence on oil imports, with a private-sector initiative for a nationwide electric car network.

    The privately funded plan to build 500,000 recharging points and battery-swap stations for electric cars in the next 18 months has the backing of the government and president, Shimon Peres. Renault and Nissan will develop an electric car with a range of more than 100 miles to be mass-produced from 2011.

    Mr Peres told the Financial Times the plan would cut Israel’s oil imports by half within a few years, and Israel could cut the remainder by building solar energy generating plants. “In one decade, we will not need oil.”

    The infrastructure will be built by Project Better Place, a US start-up, which has raised $200m (€137m) for the purpose, enough to cover the initial stages. Further roll-out of the infrastructure and vehicles is expected to add about $800m to the cost.

    Electric cars have failed to find mass-market acceptance due to their limited driving ranges, high costs relating to their batteries and small production runs. Project Better Place, founded by Shai Agassi, an Israeli-American, champions a business model that would see the costs of batteries borne by infrastructure companies.

    Israel’s government this month approved tax incentives for electric vehicles.

    The plan’s government backing could prove a sensitive point in the region’s oil-rich countries, where Renault does business; in Iran it assembles low-cost cars in a joint venture. The company was not available for comment ahead of Monday’s announcement.

    Mr Peres made it clear the aim of the project was both economic and political. “The two greatest problems today are oil and terror,” he said. “Oil is the greatest polluter, and the great financer of terror. [Oil-producing nations] make a mockery of democracy.”

    By contrast, he saw a bright future for solar energy to replace oil imports: “The sun is permanent, democratic, friendly, and it does not pollute.”

    Project Better Place, which has held talks with carmakers other than Renault and Nissan, will also offer prepayment packages for recharging that it claims will bring down the cost of electric cars. It likens itself to the early infrastructure companies that made widespread use of mobile phones possible.

    Caroline Öhrn, senior research analyst at Venture Business Research, said: “This may finally kick-start adaptation on a larger scale.” The take-up of electric cars had been inhibited by the lack of recharging sites, she said. “It’s great to own an electric car, but its use is limited if you’re only able to recharge it at home.”

    If successful, the Israeli project may also be rolled out in other countries.

    Electric cars are regarded as a “green” alternative to petrol or diesel driven vehicles because the only greenhouse gas emissions they produce arise from the generation of the electricity. If this comes from low-carbon sources, the resulting emissions are very low.

    Project Better Place has calculated that if Israel’s fleet of 2m cars were all electric, they would require 2,000MW of electricity per year, which could be provided by a one-off investment of $5bn in solar plants.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4ba47e38-c...0779fd2ac.html
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  • #2
    Re: Israel plans electric car network

    Good for them. Certainly their country is small enough to make this viable.

    And hopefully some of their experiences with this infrastructure would be transferable elsewhere (and vice versa from other places where electric and other alternative fuels are being tried.) We could all benefit from reduced demand for oil.

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    • #3
      Re: Israel plans electric car network

      Originally posted by Mace View Post
      Good for them. Certainly their country is small enough to make this viable.

      And hopefully some of their experiences with this infrastructure would be transferable elsewhere (and vice versa from other places where electric and other alternative fuels are being tried.) We could all benefit from reduced demand for oil.
      *sigh* their.
      " The issue in palestine will not be solved by the United States or any western country. It's not going to be solved by Dan Six Pack or Sally Soccer mom! " Anwar Al-Awlaki

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      • #4
        Re: Israel plans electric car network

        Software expert Shai Agassi plans to jumpstart electric car sector
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        • #5
          Re: Israel plans electric car network

          Renault to develop electric cars for Israel

          Mon Jan 21, 2008
          By Steven Scheer

          JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Renault-Nissan alliance on Monday signed a deal to begin mass producing electric cars as part of an Israeli-led project to develop alternative energy sources and slash oil dependency.

          Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said the cars, with a range of about 100 km in city driving and up to 160 km on the highway, will accelerate from zero to 100 kph in 13 seconds and have a top speed of 110 kph -- similar to many gasoline-powered cars.

          Ghosn said a key reason why the company chose Israel to launch the project is because 90 percent of Israelis drive less than 70 km a day and all major urban centers are within 150 km of each other. For Israel the cars would mean less dependency on oil imports, mostly coming from Russia.

          The cars, to be made in Europe, will run on a battery developed by Nissan and Japan's NEC and will be available in 2011. A prototype is already on the road in Israel and various models will be sold by Renault and Nissan.

          "It will be the most environmentally friendly mass-produced car on the market," Ghosn said at a Fuel Free Transportation ceremony at the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, adding the main appeal of the cars is that they were as "normal as possible" while operating quietly.

          He said the car would cost the same or less than comparable gasoline engine autos and would have a lifetime warranty.

          Ghosn said Renault-Nissan will also market the cars in yet to be determined European countries and Asia and later to the United States.

          "We expect this car to be successful," Ghosn told reporters. "We want to make sure we mass market 10,000 to 20,000 cars a year in Israel ... We are determined to make it a success."

          ENERGY SUBSCRIPTIONS

          Israel's government will offer tax incentives on the cars and Project Better Place, a venture-backed company, will set up a recharging grid using electricity from renewable sources.

          "The state of Israel has set itself the goal of making our lives here better and cleaner, with less dependence on gasoline and petroleum," Olmert said. "By the end of the next decade, we will be completely free of petroleum and its by-products as the fuel which powers transportation in Israel."

          Project Better Place is headed by former SAP executive Shai Agassi, who said Israel's grid would be powered by 200 megawatts generated by wind and solar power sources.

          "For the first time in history, all the conditions necessary for electric vehicles to be successfully mass-marketed will be brought together in a partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Project Better Place in Israel," the two sides said in a statement.

          Consumers will buy their car and subscribe to an energy supply, including the use of the battery, on the basis of kilometers driven, similar to the way mobile phones are sold.

          Israeli President Shimon Peres said he wanted Israel to push forward with the electric car plan because oil has become the "greatest polluter of our age and the greatest financier of terrorism."

          California-based Project Better Place said it will set up a network of 500,000 charging points in Israel. The car's computer will indicate when recharging is needed and the nearest charging point.

          The initial $200 million investment in Project Better Place is led by holding company Israel Corp and includes investment bank Morgan Stanley, venture capital firm Vantage Point and a group of private investors.

          Israel Corp, which will invest $100 million, said it had signed agreements with the other investors. The Ofer family, which controls Israel Corp, will invest $30 million through a private firm while the other investors will put in $70 million.

          (Additional reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by David Holmes)

          http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt...080121?sp=true
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          • #6
            Re: Israel plans electric car network

            I just love that reporters and politicians are morons.

            So how are they going to generate that electricity?
            About the only options that are viable in a small country would be nuclear or solar. Since they tend to **** everyone off around them, giant solar arrays would be too great a target which leaves nuclear, which is itself a tempting target for those who use violence. About the only thing dumber would be claiming that hydrogen would be better.

            About the only other options for non-fossil fuel would be oil or alcohol. Israel doesn't have enough land for these to be viable alternatives.

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            • #7
              Re: Israel plans electric car network

              Originally posted by hugofuchs View Post
              I just love that reporters and politicians are morons.

              So how are they going to generate that electricity?
              About the only options that are viable in a small country would be nuclear or solar. Since they tend to **** everyone off around them, giant solar arrays would be too great a target which leaves nuclear, which is itself a tempting target for those who use violence. About the only thing dumber would be claiming that hydrogen would be better.

              About the only other options for non-fossil fuel would be oil or alcohol. Israel doesn't have enough land for these to be viable alternatives.

              Probably from natural gas deposits in the west bank.
              I took the road less traveled...where the heck am I? :scratch:

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Israel plans electric car network

                It's an interesting point because most people who live in urban areas or small countries don't really need a car that travels long distances.

                North Americans are probably the only people on earth who use their family car for long-distance travel.

                How many French people, for example, would actually drive to Istanbul for a vacation?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Israel plans electric car network

                  Scooter-maker Piaggio to begin electric car sales in Israel in one month

                  07/02/2008
                  By Daniel Schmil

                  Scooter maker Piaggio will be the first company to market an electric car in Israel. Sales are set to begin in about a month, three years before the expected launch of Shai Agassi's electric car initiative. Figaro's Porter model is a small multipurpose van (MPV) that runs on an electric 12 or 14 horsepower engine that can reach a maximum speed of 58 km/h.

                  These qualities, along with the vehicle's short length of 3.37 meters, make it suitable only for urban use. The car is able to run for 250 kilometers on a full battery charge that takes just two hours. The battery can be charged with normal home outlets.

                  The lightweight MPV will be the first to enjoy the tax breaks offered by the green taxation commission. A spokesman for the company said the firm has won approval in principle for a purchase tax rate of just 10% even before the green tax law is passed in the Knesset, bringing the cost to consumers to NIS 120,000.

                  The Porter will be sold in Israel in five models including the passenger model (with four seats), the closed commercial model with a payload capacity of 560 kg, and two open deck models, with or without a tipper bar, making them suitable for light earthworks transport.

                  The gas-fueled model, with it's 1.3-liter Daihatsu engine, will also be introduced to Israel. Later this year Piaggio's two-seater, 500 cc diesel engine m500 model will also be hitting the market here. Its importer, Alon Motors, says that the vehicle will run on 30 km per liter. Alon Motors is a subsidiary of Alon Garages, which specializes in commercial vehicles. They expect annual sales of these to reach 800 per year.

                  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/951918.html
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                  • #10
                    Re: Israel plans electric car network

                    Electric car system planned in Denmark by 2011 using surplus wind power

                    March 27, 2008
                    Associated Press

                    COPENHAGEN, Denmark: Denmark's DONG Energy A/S and a Silicon Valley-based startup firm on Thursday said they would install an electric car network in the Scandinavian nation with some 20,000 recharging stations.

                    The grid, which is set to be in place by 2011, will be operated by Project Better Place, an initiative by Israeli-American entrepreneur Shai Agassi, using excess power from DONG Energy's wind turbines.

                    A similar network is being built in Israel.

                    A fleet of battery-driven electrical vehicles will be introduced in Denmark after the recharging stations are built at parking lots and outside homes, Agassi said.

                    French car maker Renault will provide the vehicles and Japan's Nissan will make the lithium-ion batteries under a partnership with Project Better Place announced earlier this year. Agassi said other car makers and battery producers would join the project later.

                    The battery would allow a car to drive a maximum of 150 kilometers (90 miles) before recharging, he said, adding that he expects the network to expand to other European countries soon.

                    "We're in discussion with 30 countries — Europe, America and Asian nations," he told The Associated Press after a news conference in Copenhagen.

                    When Israel's network was endorsed by the government there in January, supporters hailed it as a bold step in the battle against global warming and energy dependency, but skeptics warned that much could still go wrong along the way.

                    DONG Energy chief executive Anders Eldrup told reporters that the grid would run on excess energy that its wind turbines generate on windy days. Windmills make up around 20 percent of Denmark's electricity production.

                    "The extra energy we have, we can use in an intelligent way by putting it in batteries," Eldrup told reporters.

                    However, on days with no wind the grid would need to use energy from DONG's coal-fired plants, he said, adding that it would still be more environmentally friendly than having cars running on gasoline.

                    "The cars' CO2 emission would still be half of what it is today with fossil fuels," Eldrup said.

                    DONG Energy operates some of the thousands of windmills that dot Denmark, a country of 5.4 million. The small Scandinavian nation began a national windmill program in 1979 under pressure from grass roots organizations demanding new sources of electricity that have less impact on the environment than conventional plants.

                    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...ctric-Cars.php
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                    • #11
                      Re: Israel plans electric car network

                      Electric cars go faster in small countries: Project Better Place moves into Denmark

                      CHRIS MORRISON
                      MARCH 27TH, 2008

                      Small countries really do make for faster drives, it seems — especially when it comes to the drive to adopt electric cars. Project Better Place has struck a deal in another tiny-but-rich country, Denmark, only two months after it announced a collaborative effort with two large car companies to install a network of charging stations for electric cars in Israel.

                      Project Better Place, if you’ll recall, is the company started by former SAP heir-apparent Shai Agassi and funded with a giant $200 million round. The company’s aim is to spread the adoption of electric cars by building the infrastructure — in this case, refueling stops analogous to gas stations — necessary to support them.

                      In Denmark, Better Place’s partner will be Dong Energy AS, a local utility. The plan is to build charging stations that pull surplus energy from Denmark’s wind power installations. Those installations supply about 20 percent of the country’s energy, more than any other place in the world.

                      That should provide a more significant environmental benefit than Israel’s system, powered by the coal plants that provide the majority of that nation’s power. The same Nissand and Renault partnership will provide electric cars to both countries.

                      If Better Place and its host countries are successful, it may mark the definitive eclipse of the United States as a leader in electric vehicle technology — even though the company itself is based in California. But companies like Tesla Motors aside, if the biggest markets for electric cars are in countries thousands of miles away, how will we be able to do anything but follow in their footsteps?

                      http://venturebeat.com/2008/03/27/el...-into-denmark/
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                      • #12
                        Re: Israel plans electric car network

                        Israel aims to be at forefront of green motoring with Renault Sedan

                        May 12, 2008
                        Associated Press

                        Tel Aviv - The Renault Sedan looks like a normal car — except that it has no exhaust pipe and there is an electricity plug where the top of the petrol tank should be.

                        It is claimed that the vehicle can accelerate from nought to 60mph in eight seconds and that the engine remains almost inaudible even at high speeds.

                        A project led by Shai Agassi, an entrepreneur, aims to put Israel at the forefront of green motoring.

                        The venture between Renault-Nissan and Project Better Place, a new Silicon Valley company, aims to introduce the car on to Israel's streets in large numbers by 2010.

                        Critics say that a battery range of 125 miles will be a problem, although a network of battery swapping stations is planned.

                        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3912857.ece
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