Israel plans to end internal combustion car sales by 2030

Better Place new car parking lot, showing multiple new Renault Fluence ZE electric cars, Israel

Add Israel to the list of countries planning to ban sales of cars that run on gasoline and diesel fuel.

The Jewish state, however, has put internal combustion engines on a shorter leash than most other countries that have announced such plans.

By 2030, the Israeli Energy Ministry announced on Tuesday, cars and trucks that run on gasoline or diesel fuel will no longer be available in the country, according to a Reuters report.

The country plans to replace internal combustion cars with electrics and to replace gas and diesel trucks with natural gas.

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Israel has both greater incentive and easier ability than many countries to execute such a plan.

It is geographically small, about the size of New Jersey, with major population centers near each other, minimizing the amount of new infrastructure required.

And it sits in the politically volatile Middle East, without its own oil and surrounded by adversaries who control much of the world’s supplies. Several have policies dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

The country briefly had an experiment with its own electric cars, made by Renault, designed to be used with a network of Project Better Place battery swapping stations. Better Place, however, went bankrupt in 2014.

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Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters the challenge is to create a critical mass of electric cars to create an economic incentive for supporting businesses around them—such as charging stations, and service companies with battery expertise—and away from internal combustion cars. That time might come around 2025, when he expects the country to have 177,000 electric cars on the road.

“From 2030, we won’t allow anymore the import of diesel or gasoline cars to Israel,” he said. “We are forcing companies to bring electric cars to Israel and for oil and gasoline companies to shift to charging stations in their gasoline or petrol stations.”

The country plans to reduce taxes on electric cars to “almost zero,” he said, and recently funded the installation of 2,000 charging stations.

The government still needs to approve the plan, which is expected to happen by the end of the year.

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