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Energy Forum 41: Hybrid and electric vehicles

Prof. Gershon Grossman , Naama Shapira
Cite As:
Grossman Gershon , Shapira Naama . Energy Forum 41: Hybrid and electric vehicles Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2018.

The development of transportation means that are not based on fossil fuels is at the forefront of the public agenda in many countries around the world. This is an effective means of preventing air pollution, reducing pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Four types of electric vehicles are sold around the world (EV - Electric Vehicles):

  • Hybrid Vehicle (HEV) - Most car manufacturers produce hybrid models. The vehicle includes an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor, which can turn into a generator. The vehicle is driven by the electric motor, assisted, if necessary, by the gasoline engine, and the battery is charged by the electric motor when operating as a generator driven by the gasoline engine. A computerized system controls the performance of the vehicle so as to optimize the operation of the engine and the electric motor.
  • Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) - similar to the hybrid but with a larger battery, allowing for a 20-100 km drive on the battery, and can be charged from the grid.
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) - Only electric motor and battery, with a range of 100-400 km.
  • Fuel cell powered vehicle (FCEV - Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) - generates the power needed to operate - converts chemical energy into electricity by fuel cells.

Hybrid cars often have a smaller gasoline engine than conventional vehicles and operate at conditions close to optimum, resulting in better fuel efficiency and less pollution. On the other hand, its power is rather limited and it has low acceleration capability. When acceleration is required or for climbing, the electric motor is activated simultaneously with the engine and both provide the required power. A common feature of all four types of vehicles is regenerative braking ability, which means that the braking energy is used to charge the battery by turning the electric motor into a generator, saving much energy - in fact, most of the energy worn by the brakes of a conventional vehicle.

It is estimated that the order of market penetration of these vehicles will be dictated by technological maturity, according to the following order: hybrid cars are already in Israel at large numbers; plug-in vehicles are in the initial stages of penetration. Next will come the fully-electric vehicles followed by the type that produces electricity for itself.

In addition to the obvious advantages of introducing the electric vehicle into the market, one must also remember the added value of reducing oil dependence for economic and strategic-political reasons.

The disadvantages of the electric vehicles, at present, are mainly in the area of ​​battery storage capacity, manifested by limited driving range and, of course, in the cost that is mainly comprised of the price of the battery.

Forum participants agree that it is possible and necessary to encourage and promote electric transportation in Israel, and that there are already enough technology elements enabling to do so. No particular technology should be recommended at this time. The state should set targets, for example, zero air pollution in cities, because this can be achieved by electrification of vehicle fleets, and let the market determine how the target will be achieved. We do not know what will happen in the future. Better technology can emerge at any moment, and regulation should not become a barrier instead of a motive.

Israel is not a car manufacturer and does not affect global demand or trends in the field of electric vehicles; At the same time, Israel has tried to take the lead in transportation, including green taxation, and the establishment of the Fuel Substitutes and Intelligent Transportation Administration with the vision of a world free of oil. In Israel, an electric vehicle is also an important catalyst for the exploitation of natural gas, which is one of the cornerstones of the Ministry of Energy's policy. Electric car charging is mainly done at night, and then the availability of renewable energy is low.

A major barrier is the country's high dependence on income from taxes on the automobile industry, on vehicles, and especially on fuel (revenues have long exceeded the investments for which they are collected). High dependency is likely to be a challenge in the long term, when electric vehicles reach high penetration rates. One has to think about how to deal with it, and here too one can learn from what is being done in the world.



1. The government should promote a multi-ministerial decision and a national plan for the gradual implementation of electric, public and private, transportation in Israel. Public transportation, especially urban, should be electric. A good, clean and efficient urban transport system, combined with good inter-urban transport, such as electric trains, can even obviate the need for two vehicles per family. The plan should include the national program for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the goals it has set for transport and emissions reduction in general.

2. As part of city planning, it is necessary to allocate parking spaces for buses and electric vehicles for charging.

3. The tender requirements of the Ministry of Transport seek to scrap buses after 8-10 years. An electric bus is not "aging" in terms of air pollution like diesel. It is recommended to extend the period of use to 12-16 years, thus greatly encouraging electric buses, both public and private.

4. Installing a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is a necessary condition for expanding their use. Today there is a very significant barrier related to issues of processes and approvals, or regulation, which are a hindrance to both public and private vehicles. Another approach is suggested: we should first consider what is correct in terms of engineering design and electrical safety, and only then will appropriate regulation be determined. If we do the opposite, then we have to invent all kinds of solutions to fit the regulation.

5. It is recommended to set up a body for the purpose of regulation of electric vehicles, which will coordinate between the relevant government bodies (treasury, interior, energy, transportation, environmental protection, security, housing) and streamline processes.

6. There should be certainty regarding the taxation and excise tax on electric vehicles of all types. The uncertainty that exists today deters potential users, both institutional and private.

7. Regulatory arrangements should be made in terms of the electricity system. The energy supply for charging transport and electric vehicles at the end of the line involves modifications in the power supply system. If, for example, 50 car owners came home from work and try to charge at the same time - it might cause a significant interference in the grid. Of course, appropriate charging infrastructure should be established: charging the buses with terminals and parking lots by the operator, preparing technological capacity for controlled charging of electric vehicles, and preparing the IEC for a wide distribution of charging stations for private vehicles in residential neighborhoods.

8. There is room to generalize the necessary preparations and adjustments of the electric system for charging electric vehicles in the short, medium and long term plans of the IEC, since the electric vehicle creates demand but also constitutes a source of electricity for supply to the grid, for example, at peak demand.

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