( dpa )- Israel will begin to change its taxation on cars in an effort to encourage citizens to purchase vehicles that are more environmentally friendly, the government said Sunday.
According to the plan, cars that do not pollute will be charged only a 10-per-cent sales tax, while those that do will carry a tax of at least 60 per cent. Starting in 2015, the taxes for clean cars will rise , while the regular automobiles' tax will drop, the government said in a statement.
Every vehicle will be allotted points according to a so-called green meter. The more a car pollutes, the higher the sales tax will be, while setting different goals and standards for trucks, taxis and private vehicles.
The government will offer cash for old cars if the owners take them off the road.
The government intends to run a pilot programme to tax vehicles entering major city centers during peak hours.
The energy plan will also encourage a switch to green appliances, such as solar-powered water heaters, and the use of non-fossil fuels.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the state would push for the use of alternative fuels, which are the "energy of the future," local media reported.