The UK really is trailing behind the rest of the world

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The UK really is trailing behind the rest of the world

Postby electricvehicles » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:02 am

Found this interesting article regarding Israel's EV project.

Cabinet to vote to endorse electric car dream today

By Yoav Kaveh

The cabinet will officially announce its support for an electric car at its weekly meeting today. The idea is to back Shai Agassi's initiative to revolutionize transport by building an entire electrically powered system for cars, starting with solar energy, non-polluting electric vehicles and infrastructure to charge the cars - all without dependence on oil. The cabinet's backing means tax breaks, among other things. Purchase tax on standard gasoline and diesel vehicles is 84 percent, which will drop to 79 percent on January 1. For more environmentally friendly hybrids the rate is only 30 percent. The Finance Ministry is considering making electric vehicles completely tax free, but a break as large as that is likely to encourage overuse of such cars. While they might not pollute as much, they are still involved in traffic accidents and need road and parking infrastructure.
So the treasury is likely to seek to levy a certain tax on electric vehicles, while granting benefits such as lower annual license fees, lower tax rates on cars that employees get from their employers, and higher depreciation rates. The cabinet will also appoint a team to study ways to improve and speed up the establishment of the infrastructure to charge the electric cars. The project will require some 500,000 charge points to succeed, spread around the country on the road and in places such as parking lots and near homes. Municipalities and planning commissions will need to cooperate to find these locations. Agassi, a 39-year-old software entrepreneur and a former senior executive at German software giant SAP, has combined with Idan Ofer's Israel Corporation through their Project Better Place initiative. Ofer and other investors have pledged an initial investment of $200 million for infrastructure. The electric vehicles will be produced by one or more carmakers, and Renault has already expressed an interest. Marketing of the cars will be similar to that of cellular telephones: The more the owners use them - or in practice commit to more hours of charging the car - the less the vehicles will cost to buy. In fact, customers might receive free cars if they commit to enough usage. Charging the cars will take hours - the rule of thumb is one minute of charging per kilometer of travel. Since the battery is expected to go for about 200 kilometers, this will mean more than three hours of charging. This is not a problem if the car is parked at the owner's workplace during the day or at home at night - if charging points are available there. The problem arises for trips over 200 kilometers. Agassi's solution for a quick recharge is to replace the batteries with a charged set, which could be done in minutes by a robotic system at gas stations. The cost of a set of batteries is estimated at $10,000 to $20,000. The idea is not to sell them, but to lease them to customers for a monthly fee. Such battery packs would weigh about 200 kilograms. In the first stage the electricity to charge the cars will come from the regular network, but later plans are to build a fully solar system. The planned cost for the electricity is $80 a year; huge savings over the present cost of fuel, over NIS 1,000 per month on average per car.

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Postby hailstorm » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:53 am

Isn't this a little out of date. I thought the government had announced support for Project Better Place months ago. Unless this is just putting a rubber stamp on it all and setting some firm figures.

Renault Nissan haven't just 'expressed an interest'. They will be making all the cars for this and are probably some way into development already.

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