News / Motoring
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Renault Electric Car In Israel
Image: courtesy Project Better Place

Renault-Nissan Electric Car - Project Better Place

Renault-Nissan signed a joint venture agreement with the State Of Israel on January 21, 2008 to launch the development and production of a new concept electric car for the Middle East. The electric car project is called 'Project Better Place' and it is expected to have economic benefits both for Israel and the rest of the Middle East and spread to other countries as the Renault-Nissan's electric car infrastructure investment takes hold. Already Denmark and Denmark's DONG Energy have initiated a partnering process with Project Better Place that should culminate in an agreement shortly and initiate a battery charging network in Denmark by 2011.

Israel has committed to build an electric car supporting infrastructure by creating charging spots and battery exchange stations for electric vehicles within the country. It is believed that through this leadership, and through the provision of incentives to this electric car industry, Israel will be able to help launch other green industries and JV relationships with other Middle East partners to create the 'Better Place' that all hope for. Renault-Nissan are the first major automotive company to come behind the project, but the infrastructure itself will promote the involvement of other car companies as well.

Project Better Place is an initiative that has a global business plan and Idan Ofer is its Chairman. The CEO, Shai Agassi has raised more than $200 million for the Project, with support coming from VantagePoint Venture Partners, Israel Corporation, Morgan Stanley and other private investors who share a concern about global climate change and a universal desire to help all.

The involvement of Renault-Nissan in Project Better Place is significant. Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of both Renault and Nissan, has indicated that Nissan plans to launch their first battery car by 2010 and that Renault-Nissan together will have a complete line of electric vehicles by 2012. NEC will supply the lithium ion batteries for Project Better Place, and the Renault Electric car will be launched in Israel for 2011. Project Better Place will construct and maintain 500,000 battery charging spots as part of the project. Renault itself has taken a bold step to say that the future for the car company is to be 100% electric.

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