IEC to set up electric-car charging stations

The Infrastructures Ministry opposes the option of recharging electric cars at home. It only wants recharging via a managed grid.

November 18, 2010 00:06
2 minute read.
One of Better Place's battery switch stations in T

electric car 311. (photo credit: Better Place)

The National Infrastructures Ministry on Wednesday announced it convened an interministerial meeting on a policy for electric cars. Participants included representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance, Justice and Transportation ministries and the Public Utilities Authority. No representatives from the Environmental Protection or the Interior ministries attended the meeting.

The National Infrastructures Ministry opposes the option of recharging electric cars at home and business electricity points connected to the national grid, as is already done overseas. It only wants recharging via a managed grid.

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Industry sources said this measure to set a technology standard, if implemented, is liable to significantly slow the importing of electric cars and will raise their cost.

The National Infrastructures Ministry argues that managed recharging by an external party “will reduce the need to set up more electricity production facilities and expand the current national grid, while providing proper safety for using the grid to recharge vehicles. Controlled recharging is intended to enable control and oversight of electricity demand and of load on the electricity system’s production, transport and distribution.”

According to the ministry’s plan, the Israel Electric Corporation will build the recharging stations in public places, and a party certified in electricity work at the relevant tension will build the stations in private locations. IEC will own and maintain the recharging stations in public places, and vehicle owners will own and maintain the recharging stations in private locations.

Part of the ministry’s plan contradicts the business model of Better Place LLC, which wants to own and manage the home and public recharging stations and to handle all the clearing of transactions.

The National Infrastructures Ministry says it intends to adhere to the principle of free access to a nationwide network of recharging stations with a range of operators and electric cars of various kinds. “A uniform standard for hooking up to the recharging system will be set, which will ensure the recharging by any electric-car driver at any authorized recharging station, irrespective of the recharging vendor to which he is connected,” the ministry said. “The standard that will be determined will enable fair competition in the electric-vehicle market. An international standard will be considered as a basis, with the necessary adjustments to the policy principles set by the ministry.”

Industry sources said the ministry’s plan has technical contradictions. They said no government ministry has the authority to set a standard but can only adopt an existing standard.

Currently, there is no uniform international standard for the recharging of electric vehicles, and there is no way to compel carmakers to apply any standard or to adapt their cars to the principles of a so-called managed grid in Israel.

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