In a recent announcement Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that Renault has plans to begin production of electric cars in Israel by 2012. Now word has come out that Renault may be teaming up with Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place to help build the infrastructure necessary to make electric vehicles a practical reality. Renault has already shown a commitment to ecological car design with its ‘eco²’ line of cars (the eco² Megane is pictured). This would certainly be a leap where the eco² was a baby step, but it’s not beyond the pale to think it might just work.

The deal to produce cars in Israel is still just a vague announcement, as Renault refused to comment on the subject according to CNN Money. The deal between Agassi and Renault is a bit more concrete, although there is still nothing on paper. However, if Renault does decide to get involved, there could be an agreement as early as the first half of 2008, reports Business Week.

Agassi’s Project Better Place, as we reported several weeks ago is premised on the idea that electricity is already a ubiquitous power source, unlike hydrogen or ethanol or biodiesel, and therefore all that is needed to bring electric vehicles to market is a handy way of accessing that electricity. By building charging stations in handy locations, like parking lots and building new automated battery-swap stations, Agassi believes electric cars could effectively replace traditionally powered cars for all purposes. The only missing ingredient: the electric cars.

That’s why Renault is believed to be teaming up with Project Better Place to help research and develop their electric car. The sooner major makers can get electric cars on the road, the sooner Agassi’s project can get off the ground, so it’s a perfectly synergistic relationship. There has been no official announcement of the partnership, however, so the whole thing may yet fall apart - but here’s hoping it works. It would be very interesting to see more cars like the Tesla getting acceptance not just from the enthusiast speed-freaks like us, but from the environmentalists and economists as well.