Israel Revs Up Electric Cars

Endorses national initiative to switch to electric cars
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2008 3:59 PM CST
A man looks at 'The Book of Songs' electric car by Chinese manufacturer Li Shi Ming Automobile Design Company at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, 15 January 2008....   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Israel is taking the first steps toward getting drivers behind the electric wheel. The country today unveiled a joint project that calls for Renault-Nissan to build cars and a California startup to build the infrastructure. The electric cars are to hit the mass market by 2010 with half a million charging points in place, but some call the plan unrealistic, Time reports.

To move forward, the government is lowering the tax rate on electric vehicles by 10%. Proponents say the key is implementing battery-swap stations so drivers who need to travel more than 100 miles don't have to wait while their cars recharge. Israel hopes to set an example for the rest of the world, but one scientist says the technology still isn't there.