Israel Railways, Better Place unite to save the environment

Companies hope train riders will get a charge out of new idea.

electric car 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy of Debby Communications)
electric car 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy of Debby Communications)
Israel Railways and Better Place signed an agreement on Sunday to begin the development of electric car charging stations in Israel Railway parking lots in the coming months. The agreement, signed by Yitzhak Harel, director -general of Israel Railways, and Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO of Better Place, indicates that Better Place will submit a planning program for the parking lot shortly. The pilot program, which will begin in the upcoming months, is anticipated to spread to approximately 220 charging locations at train stations in Bat Galim, Central Haifa, Acre, Beit Yehoshua, Herzliya, Hod Hasharon, Rosh Ha'ayin, Petah Tikva Segula, Kiryat Arie Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, and Pe'atei Modi'in. Israel Railways will erect signs to accompany the electric car charging stands, instructing people how to charge their vehicles. The new charging stations will allow the thousands of Israelis who park their cars in Israel Railways parking lots everyday to charge their vehicles while they ride the trains. Better Place will oversee the charging docks' installation, as well as any necessary upkeep. "The train works as an economic growth stimulator," said Harel, "and it contributes to improving the quality of life by charging thousands of cars that drive along Israel's roads and eliminating airborne vehicle pollutants." Regarding the charging docks' development, Kaplinsky said on Sunday that the "clean transportation transition requires preparation of all the transportation in Israel." Better Place knows the importance of achieving public transport solutions for existing transportation, integrating and operating most of the electric vehicle, infrastructure, and public transport. Combining hands with Israel Railways is natural, but will significantly reduce the environmental damage." In recent years, Israel Railways has recorded the fastest growth in transport rates in the country, and from year to year it continues to strengthen its position as Israel's leading transport infrastructure. The approximate 128,000 passengers who have been using the trains each day since the beginning of the year is expected to total 35.8 million passengers by the end of December. Established in October 2007 and co-owned by Shai Agassi and Hahevrah L'Yisrael, Better Place seeks to provide worldwide electric car services, fostering the conditions which will make electric vehicles accessible worldwide in order to end the global dependence on oil. The company is working to establish a global network infrastructure that uses electrical charging renewable energy. Infrastructure will enable the mass use of electric vehicles, non-toxic air pollution, significantly reducing the dependence on petroleum and its products of countries self-propelling the "green" economy. The company will work with partners to deploy the infrastructure load in Israel, Denmark, Australia, California, and Hawaii, beginning in 2010.