July 19, 2021

Sustainable transportation: 6.5 m. NIS electric transit coming to Israel

Sustainable transportation: 6.5 m. NIS electric transit coming to Israel

A new electric public transportation system at an estimated cost of NIS 650 million will be promoted for implementation in Israel following a decision made on Sunday at a meeting between Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg and Energy Minister Karin Elharrar.

The budget for the joint venture is estimated to be NIS 650m., of which NIS 360m. will be intended for municipal and intercity electric buses, and the infrastructure that they require. An additional NIS 100m. will be used to reduce pollution in Israeli cities, NIS 90m. will be used to establish an environmentally friendly worker commuting program, and the other NIS 100m. will be used for electronic charging stations, and research and development in the field of clean transport.

In addition to the requested budget, the joint venture will include a requirement to exempt taxation of the lithium batteries that are used in electric vehicles, the establishment of a plan to reduce carbon emission from all methods of transportation, and to transfer all government workers to electronic and environmentally friendly methods of transportation by 2025.

According to a report published in June by the Environmental Protection Ministry, over NIS 30 billion is spent on emission costs each year in Israel, and public transport is the main factor. As a result of the report, the ministry has begun working to switch the production of 40% of Israel’s electricity over to renewable energy sources by the year 2030.

In a joint statement about the plan they hope to implement and the urgency behind it, the ministers said that “the climate crisis is already hitting the world hard, and Israel must act immediately to reduce its consequences. The best way to do this is through cooperation between government ministries. The transport industry is the biggest polluting factor in the country and therefore the decision to promote electric transportation is extremely important.

“The goal is both to promote electric public transportation and to encourage Israeli consumers to choose an electric vehicle,” the joint statement concluded. “We will work to make the transition easy, fast and cost-effective.”

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