San Francisco: Electric car city?

Venture trying to get all passenger vehicles in Israel to run on batteries rather than gasoline could extend its plans to the city by the Bay.

Who's bringing the electric car back to life? Mayor Gavin Newsom hopes he can help in San Francisco by partnering with Project Better Place, according to Earth2Tech.

Mayor Gavin Newsom wants San Francisco drivers to zip around town on electric power.
Mayor Gavin Newsom wants San Francisco drivers to zip around town on electric power. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

The venture, founded by the mayor's friend Shai Agassi, aims for all passenger vehicles in Israel to run on batteries rather than gasoline. Drivers would subscribe to cars much like they subscribe to cellular phone plans. The biggest challenge is to create the electric car infrastructure, a network of stations for charging vehicles and replacing batteries.

In Israel last week, Newsom met with CEO Moshe Kaplinsky and volunteered to make the city by the Bay the first U.S. guinea pig for Project Better Place. The city has the nation's largest fleet of plug-in hybrids--a tiny trio of vehicles.

Under the hood of this prototype Renault lies a m model battery from Project Better Place.
Under the hood of this prototype Renault lies a model battery from Project Better Place. Project Better Place

On Sunday, Renault showed off a model sedan housing a model Project Better Place battery. The car would get 100 miles per gallon in a city. Nissan is also on board to build compatible cars.

Israeli president Shimon Peres last week endorsed Project Better Place, which launched in March in Denmark, its second country.

Newsom, who mocked the lack of progress toward sustainability in the United States and admired Agassi's efforts in a March interview with CNET, aspires to make San Francisco the nation's "greenest" city.

The mayor had to give up his General Motors EV-1 years ago, but soon will drive a Tesla electric roadster.

This pumpkin-colored Tesla electric car drew onlookers Monday at SF Green, a meet up of clean tech start-ups and investors.
This pumpkin-colored Tesla electric car drew onlookers Monday at SF Green, a meet up of clean tech start-ups and investors. Elsa Wenzel/CNET
 

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