Renault Nissan, and California-based Project Better Place, are working together with the government of Israel to make the country oil independent by 2020. Denmark has already signed on to implement the sinews of this major electric car initiative.
In broad outline, Renault Nissan will build cars powered by lithium-ion batteries running purely on electricity and delivering performance on par with a 1.6 liter gas engine. These electric car models will become available as of 2011. A key component will be the preparation and development of a national infrastructure to access electric power. “Project Better Place” will arrange for the installation of 500,000 charging hook-ups throughout Israel. It is estimated electric power charging costs for the lifetime of this car will approximate the cost of fueling an equivalent gasoline powered vehicle for some two years at current gasoline prices.
Denmark plans to provide the power supply for electric cars with wind power. Israel is planning huge mirrors in the Negev Desert to capture the solar energy needed for its electric cars. With an extensive grid of plug-in locations there will be no need for lengthy charge periods so that charging up shouldn’t take much more time than tanking up currently.