November 18, 2007


Israel's Electric Revolution? (HILLEL HALKIN, November 13, 2007, NY Sun)

A small country running almost entirely on electric cars 10 or 15 years from now and serving as a model for the world? Or the pipedream of an overambitious businessman dragging his government into an expensive boondoggle that may make it the world's laughingstock?

This is a question that Israeli economists are asking this week after a government decision to support, at least on an initial basis, the revolutionary plan of hi-tech entrepreneur Shai Agassi to turn Israel into a pilot project for phasing out the gasoline-powered automobile. It's a question that involves not only the project's feasibility, but also the economic risks that a country like Israel, with its limited resources and pressing needs, can afford to run in the hope of pioneering new technologies or ways of doing things.

Israel certainly has a lot of needs, but driving around in your own car isn't one of them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 18, 2007 9:05 PM

"Israel certainly has a lot of needs, but driving around in your own car isn't one of them."
Unless, of course, you're a Palestinian "Israeli", then driving your bomb laden car around is certainly of the highest of priorities.
The only "need" Israel has is for its neighbors to not be religiously bigoted homicidal/suicidal maniacs.

Posted by: Mike at November 18, 2007 9:39 PM

Yes, the less cars the better for Israelis.

Posted by: oj at November 18, 2007 9:58 PM

I'm sure OJ has dreams about sunset train rides through the Negev.

Posted by: ratbert at November 18, 2007 11:46 PM

oj is absolutely correct. The whole country is clogged by automobiles, all too many of them powerful models with a single occupant.

It's the American dream (or the illusion of it)....

At least with electric cars---hopefully smaller and far less powerful than the death machines that grace Israel's roads---things ought to be a bit cleaner and less noisy.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 19, 2007 2:04 AM

Israel has too many TAILPIPE EMITTING cars. Replace all of them with clean, quiet pure electric cars, and now you're talking. No more financing the enemies, no more producing disease-bearing emissions, no more contributing in a huge way to climate change. Oh, and the congestion thing, there are even solutions for that arising from the future automation of such vehicles.

Posted by: Michael Gr at November 19, 2007 3:32 AM