The Ministry of Energy is planning to have at least 2,500 charging stations for electric vehicles stretching across the entire country by the middle of next year.
Earlier this month, the ministry released its final list of towns and companies that will install the stations, a process that will be subsidized by the state.
Last year, the ministry published a series of different tenders with the explicit intention to have the stations installed by mid-2020. These stations will stretch from Kibbutz Dan on the northern border to Eilat, the southernmost city of Israel.
The decision to publish the tenders arose from the lack of motivation for importers to sell electric vehicles in Israel. According to ministry statistics, there are less than 1,000 electric vehicles in Israel, in comparison to 100,000 hybrid (electric and gas) cars.
The ministry has also set a target that electric cars will comprise fully one quarter of all cars sold in Israel in 2025. Government estimates concluded that this target would require 150,000 private charging stations and 13,000 public ones.
This is the first time that the ministry has published a tender offering government subsidies for municipalities and local councils to encourage alternative and clean energy.
One of the winning tenders covers 30 local councils, which will share a total subsidy of NIS 12 million to construct the charging stations, covering 50% of the cost for each one. This tender finances 800 stations across the 30 councils.
The subsidy covers slow-charging stations that are able to charge two cars at once. Each car can take up to eight hours to fully recharge.
As part of this tender, Jerusalem Municipality will receive funds for 100 charging stations, Holon will receive 60 stations, and Ashdod and Beitar Ilit will each get 36.
Municipalities can build as many charging stations as they wish, but only a limited amount will be subsidized through the ministry. This explains why Tel Aviv did not submit a bid for the tender.
Tel Aviv, which is in solid financial shape, has the ability to build an unlimited number of stations, and by not using the subsidy, can decide on its own schedule rather than being required to have the stations in place by mid-2020.
A second tender, for regular charging sockets in public places such as parking lots and entertainment districts, was won by nine different companies. Together they will install 812 charging sockets in 148 different places, and in return will receive a total grant of NIS 3.2 million. The sites for these sockets include large shopping malls, Ikea stores, and movie houses.
The ministry is currently working on a third tender, for the installation of fast-charging stations that would enable an 80% battery charge in half an hour. This tender is expected to be published imminently.
A third tender is being carried out in partnership with the Prime Minister's Office and its authority for alternative energy and smart transportation.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed his support for what he called a "comprehensive and important step that corresponds to my vision to end Israel's dependency on polluting energy sources by 2030."