“Driverless” Tesla electric car will test run on Israel’s Better Place grid


In the aftermath of the demise of Shai Agassi’s Better Place electric car network company,  EV car purchasers in Israel feared they might become stranded due to not being able to recharge or exchange their car’s lithium batteries. Will Tesla, who said they wouldn’t, swoop in?

Rumors have circulated that Tesla Motors, manufacturers of high priced electric sports cars, might soon be introducing their cars into Israel to take advantage of the electric car infrastructure already set up by Better Place.

This rumor became ever stronger due to a partnership between California based Tesla Motors and the Israeli Mobileye company to produce the world’s first “driverless” car.

Using robotic technology to program and steer a car while the driver does something else was once a concept only found in science fiction. But due to technology developed by Mobileye, this fiction may soon become at least partial reality. In an interview at the Marker business section, Mobileye’s co-founder Amnon Shashua tried to set matters straight regarding how “driverless” his company’s system will actually be.

He said: “It’s not automatic driving in which the driver puts an address in and goes to sleep. The system permits control to be transferred to it for a limited time. You can read a text message or switch radio stations and temporarily turn over control.”

Tesla Motors was founded by South African entrepreneur Elon Musk; and named after one of the world’s most innovative electronics geniuses, Nikola Tesla.The cars start in price in the USA at nearly $60,000, with a new 2015 Tesla Motors “Falcon Wing” Model X CUV model expected to sell upwards from $70,000.

Some Tesla models are said to have a driving range of up to 425 kilometers. This positive factor is still not enough to sell Tesla cars to the mass market, as these prices put them out of reach of most car buyers, especially in countries like Israel.

As it looks now, the appearance of a Tesla electric sports car in Israel will be for driverless testing purposes only.

More articles on Tesla and other electric cars in the Middle East:

Driverless car partnership emerges between Tesla and Israel’s Mobileye

Will Tesla’s New Model X Crack the Middle Eastern Market?

Interview With a Betterplace EV Car Owner – Not Stranded Yet

Photo of 2015 Tesla Model X, by Plug in Cars


About Maurice Picow

Maurice Picow grew up in Oklahoma City, U.S.A., where he received a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Following graduation, Maurice embarked on a career as a real estate broker before making the decision to make Aliyah to Israel. After arriving in Israel, he came involved in the insurance agency business and later in the moving and international relocation fields. Maurice became interested in writing news and commentary articles in the late 1990’s, and now writes feature articles for the The Jerusalem Post as well as being a regular contributor to Green Prophet. He has also written a non-fiction study on Islam, a two volume adventure novel, and is completing a romance novel about a forbidden love affair. Writing topics of particular interest for Green Prophet are those dealing with global warming and climate change, as well as clean technology - particularly electric cars. Maurice can be reached at maurice (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

9 thoughts on ““Driverless” Tesla electric car will test run on Israel’s Better Place grid

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  5. Maurice

    This project has nothing to do with any plans involving importing Tesla cars. Tesla’s spokesperson told me a few months back that they have no plans at this time to sell their cars in Israel. The project with Mobleye is only involving the driverless car concept.

  6. Yo

    What kind of moronic crap is this? 1 TESLA MODEL S. Ask Tesla why they didn’t enter Israel last year despite signed agreement.

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