The hullaballoo around electric car venture Better Place Inc. has sent us to examine where its other partner has disappeared to – the partner which has been responsible over the years for fostering, incentivizing, persuading, encouraging, and creating favorable public relations for the electric car. Yes we’re talking about the Israeli government, which announced its support for the electric car almost from the venture’s first day.
In November 2007, the government passed a resolution (no. 2580) to “encourage non-gasoline transportation”, on the basis of which it granted generous tax breaks for the electric car, and set national priorities to encourage the construction of the battery replacement and recharging network, to foster joint ventures with carmakers, and other measures. The name “Better Place” was never explicitly mentioned in the decision, but the decision was tailored for the company.
Since then, the government has not stopped reminding the public that the electric car has backing. For example, under “Electric Vehicles” the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has a permanent statement on its website, which says, “The Ministry encourages the use of electricity driven transportation in Israel, including electric vehicles, to facilitate change and diversity in the national fuel offering, while reducing dependence on liquid fuel, reducing air and noise pollution, and increasing energy efficiency as a result of more efficient power generation, etc.”
In 2011, the ministry published a policy statement, Charging of Electric Vehicles, which tells the public that the electric car is a viable option, and not one of the alternative technologies undergoing initial tests around the world. “Recent developments in the field are turning it into a realistic option that contributes to reducing dependence on oil, decreasing direct air pollution from transportation, as well as advancing the use of non-oil based generation of power for transportation (coal, natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear energy).”…Read More>>