better place taxis 311.
(photo credit: Better Place)
The National Infrastructures Ministry on Thursday issued a tender for a
consultant to do an economic analysis of the feasibility of electric cars
compared to gasoline-powered and other alternative energy vehicles.
ministry said it was committed to cleaner transport to reduce air pollution and
wean Israel as much as possible off of foreign oil.
Electric cars are one
option for more environmentally friendly transport, and they have their
advantages and drawbacks. For example, there is no air pollution and little
noise from the electric car itself. However, if the electric car charges from
electricity that is produced by a polluting power station, then it can make the
power station work harder, which in turn generates more pollution.
other hand, it is not yet clear how much additional generator use a network of
electric cars would require, since charging would be governed by a “smart
system” that charges the cars during off-peak times, such as at night.
is theoretically possible that the network would not put any extra strain on the
Once electric-car infrastructure developer Better Place
enters the Israeli market next year, more data will become
Other alternatives to gasoline include hybrid cars that use
both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Regular gasoline-powered cars can
be retrofitted to run on natural gas as well, which is cleaner. In the future,
cars might run on hydrogen fuel cells.
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The deadline for the tender is
September 19. The contract would be for a year, with an option to extend it for
another two years.
According to the tender, the consultant will be asked
to evaluate cleantransport options and the electric car and its components,
including its infrastructure requirements such as the electricity grid. Energy
needs of current electric cars and those in development and the environmental
ramifications based on energy use will also be examined.
will prepare a comparison of costs of an electric-car network versus those based
on liquid oil (gasoline, diesel and hybrid).
The consultant will estimate
the impact of electric cars on national infrastructures, particularly the
electricity grid, and prepare a presentation of the current regulatory and
Finally, the consultant will predict the development
of the electric car in Israel over the next decade and prepare
Meanwhile, Better Place announced Thursday that it has
extended its switchable-battery electric-vehicle (EV) taxi pilot in Tokyo to
operate through the end of the year.
“Up to this point, there has been
very little information about how an EV battery will perform in heavily used,
realworld taxi conditions,” said Kiyotaka Fujii, president of Better Place
“This program has provided us with critical insights into the
battery performance in a switch model and switch-station performance for the
toughest customers – taxi drivers.
“By extending this program, we hope to
gain further insights into the battery performance and durability of the switch
station itself, which will be invaluable as we move toward commercial launch
later next year in Israel and Denmark.”
The current trial began on April
Operations were to be temporarily suspended during August, so that EV
battery and onboard vehicle data could be analyzed. Service was expected to
resume again on September 1, the company said.
“While a comprehensive
analysis of the data is still being conducted,” Better Place said, “some initial
data points about the taxi project include: 40,311 – number of kilometers
driven; taxi drivers went through the switch station 2,122 times; average switch
time was 59.1 seconds; 3,020 passengers have ridden in the taxis.”
Place is building an infrastructure of charging points, battery-switch stations
and the technology to control them for electric vehicles.
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