Sources inform ''Globes'' that the first to models of the Renault two-seater Twizy electric car have arrived in Israel. The cars will participate in a trial for environmentally friendly urban transport in cooperation with the Kfar Saba Municipality.
The Twizy is 2.32 meters long, carries two people, one behind the other, and has a electric motor with a rechargeable lithium battery. It weighs less than 450 kilograms. The basic model has a 5-horsepower engine and top speed of 45 kilometers an hour. In most European countries, people from the age of 16 can drive it without a driver's license.
The stronger model has a 17-horsepower engine, can reach 80 km/h, and has a range of 100 kilometers between recharging. The car comes with a special cable for recharging from an ordinary socket, requiring 3.5 hours for a full charge.
The Twizy's starting price in Europe is €7,000, plus €50 a month to lease the battery. The larger model costs €7,700, plus the battery lease payment. If these prices hold in Israel, where the purchase tax on electric cars is just 10%, the Twizy will cost NIS 50,000-60,000, including VAT. However, it is not known if Renault importer Carasso Motors Ltd. (TASE: CRSO) has decided whether to sell the car, or how.
The Kfar Saba Municipality has been trying for years to introduce an environmentally friendly urban transport solution. In 2008, the municipality signed a contract to buy the electric mini-car with a subsidiary of Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd., but nothing came of it. This was also one of the first municipalities to let Better Place Inc. build its battery recharging network for the Renault electric Fluence ZE.
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is also considering a plan for leasing electric mini-cars.
It is not yet clear how the Kfar Saba pilot will work, but the municipality will probably test a car-sharing model and leasing by the hour, similar to the model used Paris for the Twizy.
Earlier this month, the Israeli government decided to establish standards and service for L category cars, to which the Twizy belongs, and consider tax breaks and other benefits to encourage the use of mini-electric cars in urban areas.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 21, 2013
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