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Renault, Nissan Explore Electric Car Infrastructure in Israel

Israel plans to test an electric car system that works like the model of a cell phone.

The New York Times reported Monday that Nissan and Renault planned to partner with an American-Israeli entrepreneur and the Israeli government to bring electric cars to the masses. The plan, if successful, could be used as a model for other places, such as small countries or congested cities like New York.

Shai Agassi, the entrepreneur behind the project, believes it can be conducted in a way that would make gasoline seem even more expensive than the current $6.28 a gallon. "You'll be able to get a nice, high-end car at a price roughly half that of the gasoline model today," Agassi told The New York Times.

The partnership will place a heavy emphasis on developing the infrastructure. Tax incentives will subsidize the cars, which will be furnished by Renault and Nissan while Agassi's company, Project Better Place, will provide the lithion-ion batteries and re-charging infrastructure. Drivers will pay a monthly fee for mileage.

"Because the price of gasoline fluctuates so much during the life of a car, it’s hard to predict the cost basis for driving," Agassi told The New York Times. "But electricity fluctuates less, and you can buy it in advance, so I can give you a guaranteed price per mile, cheaper than the price of gas today."

He predicted that by 2010, Israel could have 100,000 cars on the road.

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