Israel pioneers electric car system

An electric transport company will install 500,000 electric car recharging points across Israel by 2011.

The firm, Better Place, is the first to install such a vast nationwide network of recharging points, which will be in place when the first electric cars, to be produced by Renault-Nissan, will be marketed.

The first 500 points will be installed in cities, including Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, as part of a pilot scheme.

Moshe Kaplinsky, head of Better Place Israel, said: "This vision is to stop this addiction to oil.

"Unfortunately a great part of the resources of oil are held by countries that don't share the same values we cherish in the western civilisation where we live. The gap is very clear between the price of producing a barrel of oil and the price that it sells for on the world market. And in some places these profits finance terror."

The project in Israel will be the Californian-based company's pioneer system, but contracts have also been agreed to install in San Francisco, Hawaii, Denmark and Australia.

Drivers will be able to pay for charging their battery through a monthly account, similar to a mobile phone bill, but no prices have been announced.

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