The Israeli electric car company Better Place is seeing rough times (it just hired its third CEO in as many months after firing two others), but it has reduced its leasing plan to about $400 a month including charge and battery swaps to attract more customers. Thanks to the millions in marketing done by Better Place, the Israeli public is more than ever interested in going electric. With its fair share of oil embargoes from the Middle East, Israelis are too aware of the cost of foreign oil. Locals do want to see greener modes of transport, and ones that use less foreign oil. A second car commuter car, or a first car choice for those living in congested cities may just be the Renault Twizy, at a comfortable price of about Euros 7000 or NIS 50,000 depending on the taxes. Twizy, a mini electric two-seater, will be piloted in the Israeli city Kfar Saba, located about 1/2 an hour north east of Tel Aviv, according to Globes.
The Twizy is a 2.32 meters long car which carries only two people, one behind the other. Its electric motor is powered with a rechargeable lithium battery and over all the car weighs less than 450 kilograms, topping 45 miles per hour. In Europe, most countries let those over 16 drive it without a license.
In Israel this could be a good replacement to the moped drivers who dangerously weave in and out of traffic and who drive on sidewalks. But it would be a hard sell to young couples who tend to have children back to back and earlier than in other western nations. How can a Twizy carry carseats for two babies? It wouldn’t work. But as a commuter car within the city limits it’s a great idea, maybe, and especially in Tel Aviv where finding parking spaces has been known to cause light to severe insanity among the locals who try to park for the night.
Also Tel Aviv, like Paris and its Twizy electric rental pilot, wants to start rolling out a mini electric car program for its people. But we haven’t heard any updates on that news yet.
I say make buses better and get that light rail in order city officials and the people of Tel Aviv won’t need cars at all. But I support the notion of going electric if it means that those driving gas guzzlers will switch over to smaller, emissions-less vehicles. Going electric makes the air cleaner, and reduces the need for fossil fuel even if Israel is still burning fossil fuels at its power plants.
Or like in the city of Jaffa where I spend a lot of time the authorities seem to have no problem with people driving electric golf carts on the road. You can find a cheap one for about $1000, and carry more passangers and groceries that the Twizy will allow; but you won’t look as sexy that’s for sure.
All images via Renault websites