Smotrich: 2,500 Electric-Powered Buses by 2025

YERUSHALAYIM -
Betzalel Smotrich. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich is seeking to develop a fleet of electric-powered buses in Israel – and by 2025, plans to convert 60% of the buses in the country to electric-powered. That would mean there will be 2,500 electric-powered buses by that date; currently there are 70.

In a press conference Monday, Smotrich said that the Transportation Ministry was “advancing this plan with a large investment. The objective is to reduce pollution,” with studies showing that buses are among the biggest offenders in air pollution. “We are moving with giant steps towards the goal of a future with a greener, cheaper and more efficient transportation system,” he said.

Merkavim, an Israeli company that develops buses based on foreign-made engines, has built a prototype electric-powered bus. Ha’argaz, another Israeli bus company, is working on one as well. The buses are being developed based on a Chinese bus, which is serving as a development model.

Smotrich said that as part of the plan, the ministry would set up 20 electric charging stations at bus depots around the country, preparing the infrastructure for the buses when they arrive. Buses will mostly be used for urban transport, he said, as the maximum range for an electric bus today is about 200 kilometers between charges.