Sunday, February 10, 2008
Piaggio, the scooter maker best known for making Vespa, will be the first to sell electric vehicles in Isreal, in just one month. According to Ha'aretz, the electric vehicles will be Piaggio's Porter brand, small multipurpose vans (MPV) which come in five types, including models with payload tippers. The vans have 12 or 14 horsepower engines, a top speed of 36 MPH and 155-mile range on a full charge, which takes about two hours from a normal home outlet. The van will cost 120,000 Israeli Shekels ($33,018 US dollars).Why is Paggio doing this now? Israel recently instated a "green tax" on cars hoping to develop their electric car market. A Paggio company spokesman says they have won approval "in principle" for the tax breaks on the purchase price of cars. Project Better Place and Renault were the first companies to come out in support of Israel's push for electric cars but it's open to any green car maker. I fully expect many more automakers to sign up just like they did with Thailand's government program.