Renault Nissan importer Carasso Motors has confirmed an agreement with the Paz Oil Company which will see the installation of Nissan Leaf charging stations at Paz gas stations. The first stage of this agreement will see nine recharging stations installed across some of Israel's busier road networks with the intention to roll this out right across the country. This is not the first international charging station agreement involving Nissan Leaf vehicles which are proving to be one of the more popular electric vehicles of the day.
Even though electric vehicle use across Israel, and indeed many other countries around the world, has increased dramatically over the last few years there is still much work to be done. One of the major concerns was the location of recharging stations, their affordability and their reliability. This deal seems to have caught the imagination of electric vehicle users in Israel and could be the start of an array of similar arrangements.
Israel and the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle
The Nissan Leaf has been available across Israel for some time at a cost of NIS139,900 (about £24,000) which is pretty much in line with the worldwide market. However, perhaps more importantly the fact that a Nissan Leaf can be recharged to 80% capacity in just 20 minutes at a cost of between NIS15 and NIS20 has not gone unnoticed. Traditional home recharging kits would take eight hours to fully recharge the batteries of a Nissan Leaf and therefore the introduction of these new gas station services will be well received.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Despite the fact that Nissan has been forced to push back its initial target to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles by March 2017, the company is unconcerned about the likes of Toyota and Honda which are scheduled to release fuel cell powered vehicles to the market in 2015."
There are few countries around the world which do not have an active interest in the electric vehicle market, the tentacles of companies such as Renault Nissan continue to grow and this is expected to increase in the short to medium term. It is also worth noting that plans are in place to make these charging stations compatible with other brands of electric vehicle arriving in Israel in the future.
Are commercial joint ventures the way forward?
As we touched on above, one of the main concerns to impact the electric vehicle market of late revolves around recharging stations and their availability. Some of the electric vehicle manufacturers have chosen to introduce their own independent charging station networks, although this can be relatively expensive and difficult to roll-out without significant financial backing. Therefore, are we now to believe that commercial joint ventures could be the way forward?
If you take a step back and look at this announcement in Israel it is potentially a win/win for all parties involved. The electric vehicle industry receives important PR, it becomes more dependable in the eyes of the general public and the gas station company will attract more customers. There is some debate as to whether relatively low recharging costs will create enough profit for all parties but no doubt this will be clarified in due course.
While countries such as Israel have been very much at the cutting edge of new technology, and it is no surprise to learn that electric vehicles are now readily available, this new venture has certainly caught the eye of many people. As we touched on above, the main concerns about electric vehicles in years gone by have revolved around journey capacity and recharging stations. There is long-term movement and improvement in journey capacity but the availability of mass market recharging stations will certainly create a very important stopgap in the short-term - as well as the basis for a long-term national recharging network.