32 Israeli cities seek gov't support for electric car charging points

Electric vehicle charging Photo: Reuters
Electric vehicle charging Photo: Reuters

The Energy Ministry's total budget for subsidizing charging stations in Israel for electric cars is NIS 30 million.

32 local authorities last week submitted requests for a government subsidy for building charging stations for electric cars on municipal sidewalks and parking lots. The local authorities submitted their requests to the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, which published a call for proposals. The large number of requests is surprising, because the budget for the subsidies is only NIS 10 million. The document published by the ministry, however, reveals that the price for building a charging station is NIS 23,000, while the ministry is willing to provide up to NIS 30,000 per station. The local authorities' requests have to include at least 30 charging points. Every winner will receive up to NIS 1 million. The target is 1,000 charging points in public space in the local authorities.

The call for proposals is one of the four published by the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, which is also offering NIS 3.2 million in support at entertainment and shopping locations for building charging stations for employees and customers and NIS 3 million to employers for installing charging stations for their employees. There were four bids for building charging stations in entertainment and shopping sites offering to build 918 stations at 184 different locations. 10 companies answered the call for proposals from employers, offering to build 952 stations.

The largest budget, NIS 13.8 million, is designated for building nationally deployed high-speed roadside charging stations. The reason is the high cost of such stations - NIS 160,000 according to a calculation commissioned by the ministry. 27 bidders answered this call for proposals, seeking to build 113 high-speed charging stations (50 kilowatts per hour) and 65 ultra-high-speed stations (150 kilowatts per hours).

The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources' total budget is NIS 30 million. The ministry will also provide monetary support for construction of 80 high-speed charging stations and 2,500 slow charging stations. The ministry predicts that implementation will begin in 2020.

Demand for 100 station in 2020

The first tenders by the local authorities themselves for building charging stations have already been published. The Kfar Saba Economic Development Corporation, for example, published a tender for construction of 27 charging stations throughout the city. The winner will also have to obtain building and traffic arrangement permits. One of the main criteria in the tender is the rate of discount for the municipality's vehicles and residents of the city offered by bidders. Other agencies also published calls for proposals and tenders. The most prominent of these are Tel Aviv municipal company Ahuzot Hahof, which operates many parking lots for the municipality, and Israel Railways, which published a call for proposals to install charging stations in its parking lots.

Three suppliers of charging stations are bidding in the tenders: Afcon Holdings (TASE: AFHL) of the Shlomo group, EV Meter, and Gnrgy. Afcon constructs electrical infrastructure for buildings and public spaces. EV Meter, which is cooperating with Afcon in several tenders, is a subsidiary of Nayax, which accommodates payment on credit for automatic machines and plans to expand its service to car charging stations. Gnrgy is the oldest of the three companies. A large proportion of the stations that it operates were purchased from the receiver for Better Place. Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) is not entitled to take part in the market for charging electric cars.

The demand for electric charging will be mainly in metropolitan centers, not in the outlying areas, according to a preparatory guide for the local authorities commissioned by the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources and published by the Samuel Neaman Institute. The guide states that 17.5% of all electric cars in Israel will be in Tel Aviv, 10.2% in Haifa, 7.5% in Rishon Lezion, and 7.5% in Jerusalem. 65% of all electric cars will be in Israel's 10 largest cities, 29% in smaller cities, and 6% in rural areas. Demand in the large cities will exceed 100 charging stations in each city as early as next year.

Most people will charge at home or at work

Another interesting statement in the guide is that 80% of charging of vehicles will be at private charging stations at homes or workplaces, 5% will be at high-speed charging stations, and only 15% at public charging stations in streets or parking lots. The latter is classified as "supplementary charging," in which drivers take advantage of parking on the street or in a parking lot to increase their travel range. At the same time, the importance of such stations is that they remove one of the main barriers to a switch to electric transportation - only half of drivers have private parking or parking in a building.

One of the main recommendations in the guide is a simple and uniform system of identification enabling every electric car driver to charge his vehicle anywhere without any special means of identification for companies or restrictive subscriptions, similar to the current situation in filling stations or online payment for parking.

The Samuel Neaman Institute also analyzes the demand for chargeable cars, meaning chargeable electric and hybrid cars (cars capable of traveling for dozens of kilometers on an electric engine and a chargeable battery, but also equipped with a gasoline-powered engine for longer trips). The institute predicts that already next year, the market share of chargeable cars will be 3%, rising gradually to 51% by 2030. According to a conservative forecast, there will already be 20,000 chargeable cars on the road next year, rising to 187,000 by 2025. The electric vehicle fleet will reach 955,000 by 2030.

At the same time, if the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources carries out its plan to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines in 2030, the demand for electric cars will rise steeply. The study recommends giving fully electric cars priority over chargeable hybrid vehicles, which are described as a "temporary solution."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 19, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Electric vehicle charging Photo: Reuters
Electric vehicle charging Photo: Reuters
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