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Israel gets electric car network

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The Israeli government has announced a deal to encourage its citizens to buy electric cars. Does this mean grants for Scalectrix purchases? Alas not, it’s given its official thumbs up to a plan by Renault-Nissan and Project Better Place to get a hybrid network going.

Like a great big hybrid picnic, the Israeli government will bring tax incentives to buyers, Renault will come up with the electric vehicles, and Project Better Place will build and operate an Electric Recharge Grid across the entire country. It’s all expected to kick off from 2011.

Here’s some snippets from the players about what’s going on:

100% electric vehicles: Renault’s vehicles will run on pure electricity for all functions. The objective of zero emissions will be achieved, while at the same time offering driving performances similar to a 1.6 liter gasoline engine. Renault’s electric vehicles will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries, ensuring greater driving range and longevity.

Innovative business model: For the first time in the electric vehicle business, ownership of the car is separated from the requirement to own a battery. Consumers will buy and own their car and subscribe to energy, including the use of the battery, on a basis of kilometers driven. This model is similar to the way mobile phones are sold, with an initial purchase and a monthly subscription for the mobility service.

Competitive cost of ownership: The Israeli government recently extended a tax incentive on the purchase of any zero-emissions vehicle until 2019, making them more affordable. Combined with the lower cost of electricity as opposed to fuel-based energy, and the vehicle’s lifetime guarantee, the total cost of ownership for the customer will be significantly lower than that of a fuel-based car over the life cycle of the vehicle.

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