Israel is expecting a huge jump in electric vehicle use by the end of the decade when nearly a third of cars will be charged by the power grid rather than using gasoline, the Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.
This will add significant stress to the national power grid, accounting for 6 per cent of total demand, and require a tenfold expansion in battery charging capacity, the ministry said.
The forecast comes as the government is reexamining its energy export policy, with the aim of boosting natural gas exports across the region while making sure it keeps enough reserves to meet the demand of a rapidly growing population.
Israel's newfound natural gas deposits are its main power source.
About 1.3 million cars, or 30 per cent of the country's total, will be electric by 2030. That is up from 70,000 today, which is less than 2 per cent, the ministry said in an official forecast. By 2050, the ministry expects all 6 million cars on the road to be electric.
The increase is expected despite a hike in taxes on electric cars. The tax rate is due to jump to 35 per cent in 2024 from 20 per cent this year. But that will be offset by lost income from the sale of gasoline, which is taxed at 50 per cent.
In addition, about 35 per cent of buses will be electric by 2030, it said.