Israel should take additional measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the private and public market.
A Knesset study submitted yesterday to the Science and Technology Committee states that a discount or exemption from tolls on toll roads, such as Highway 6, should be considered; charging solutions in apartment houses should be promoted; incentives should be provided to government ministries, local authorities, and private companies for purchasing electric vehicles; etc.
The document finds that Israel is lagging significantly behind the rest of the world in the adoption of electric vehicles. The global electric vehicle market is currently booming, with over two million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads and being charged, and over two million charging stations. Electric vehicles have a number of special advantages in Israel, including electricity prices lower than in the rest of the world, high gasoline prices, and a small area that facilitates infrastructure deployment.
Despite these advantages, however, and the fact that Israel has signed an international convention for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, including from transportation, adoption of electric vehicles in Israel is very slow. As of mid-February 2018, Israel had only 700 private electric vehicles, 2,500 charged hybrid vehicles, and 58,000 other hybrid vehicles, while charging infrastructure is extremely incomplete.
The study found that the state was offering various incentives to promote electric vehicles in Israel, such as reduced purchase tax, a discount on the value of use, grants for deploying charging stations, and so forth. The study states, however, "The figures for the number of electric vehicles in Israel indicate that these measures have not led to significant penetration, and that electric vehicles face significant entry barriers in Israel." These include the absence of adequate charging infrastructure, and an absence of public action on the matter, among other things.
With respect to adoption of electric vehicles in public transportation, Ministry of Transport and Road Safety energy department head Idan Abudi said in the committee discussion, "We are moving in the direction of introducing electric powered vehicles in transportation in Israel. In transportation tenders, we are already requiring that 50% of the lines use electric buses. We are making sure that there is suitable infrastructure for charging stations in bus terminals. We expect half of the public transportation in Israel to consist of electric powered vehicles by 2030, and then we will insist on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons a year."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2018
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