Jerusalem green lights electric car infrastructure
For a city so old, rich in history and oftentimes set in its ways, Jerusalem is awfully receptive to getting with the times, especially when it comes to becoming more environmentally friendly. Case in point: the city's recent announcement that it would be one of the first places in the world to install the infrastructure needed to support electric cars.
It probably helps that the man at the vanguard of the electric car revolution, Shai Agassi of Better Place, is Israeli, and one of his biggest backers is Israeli President Shimon Peres (pictured, left, with Agassi), one of the city's more famous denizens.
Better Place announced late last month that it was teaming up with the city to install 100 charging spots by 2011. Some charging stations have already been installed, like at the Israel Post office headquarters and near the entrance to town. And more are on the way in places like Yad Vashem, Safra Square, the Herzl Museum and Independence Park. Needless to say, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was pleased as pie over the deal.
"The Jerusalem of the present is not only a city with a grand past, but a city that looks toward the future. Electric transportation presents the promise of reducing air pollution and preserving the capital for future generations, while contributing to the reduction of the country's dependence on oil," he said in a press release.
Unlike most other green dreamers, Agassi has been working to turn his vision of a less oily world into reality by raising the other kind of green - cold hard cash. He founded Better Place three years ago and has since made deals to install charging stations in places like Hawaii, San Francisco, Denmark, Australia and Israel Railway parking lots. He also teamed up with Nissan-Renault, which will manufacture fully electric cars that would be able to take advantage of these charging stations.
The addition of Jerusalem to the growing list of places with electric car infrastructure is not surprising given the city's green-conscious populace, and its commitment to all things environmentally friendly, such as the recently unveiled Green Map and shutting off the lights for Earth Hour.
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