Pay per drive

Nissan Motor Company is teaming up with Renault auto company and American-Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi, to promote an electric car transportation system that employs a payment model similar to that of cell phone companies.

The Israeli government has announced its support for the plan in sight of the region’s high gas prices, which currently straddle $6.28 a gallon. Israeli drivers will pay for mileage in advance to travel, similar to paying for cell phone minutes in advance to use, thus avoiding the fluctuating gas prices.

The plan is being funded by American investors, including Morgan Stanley and venture capitalist firm Vantage Point. The Israeli government will invest $200 million to get the plan started with the construction of charge stations and offer tax breaks to citizens with electric cars that will make the price of the cars roughly half that of gasoline-powered cars.

Agassi expects the electric cars to last 150,000 miles, which is roughly 1,500 charges in battery life. The batteries themselves are expected to last 7,000 charges. According to Nissan’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, the cars’ batteries will have a top range of 60 miles in the city and 100 miles on the highway.