After a year of testing in Portugal, Daimler found that it's eight Fuso Canter E-Cell electric commercial trucks cut operating costs by 64 percent versus a diesel. CO2 emissions also fell.
Portugal is far better known for its scenery and seascapes (not to mention some of its alcoholic beverages) than its place as a vehicle-testing center. But the European country is serving just that purpose for Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division and a new line of trucks. And they are of the battery-electric variety.
"If you've never heard of the Renault Twizy, that's because it's silent." That's the tagline for a new video of a promotional stunt by the French automaker that sent the funky looking EV driving into a university library to show off how quiet it is. Get it? You aren't supposed to talk in a bibliothèque but you can drive an EV there.
Plug-in vehicles perform police duties for Scotland Yard (Vauxhall Ampera) and the NYPD (Chevrolet Volt) and we've all seen the little EV parking-enforcement vehicles, so today's announcement that the Nissan Leaf will be used as a police vehicle in Portugal isn't surprising. What's interesting is that the eight patrol EVs are touted as a way for the fuzz to "arrive at the scene of a crime in near silence."
Let's see, we've had plug-in vehicles do cop car duty at Scotland Yard (Vauxhall Ampera) and New York City (Chevrolet Volt) and we've all seen the little EV parking meter vehicles, so today's announcement that the Nissan Leaf is going to be used as a police vehicle in Portugal isn't exactly a surprise. What is interesting is that the eight EVs that will soon be used on patrol are being touted as a way for the fuzz to "arrive at the scene of a crime in near silence."
We drove 'em both at the 2011 Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin, Germany earlier this year, and now it's the rest of the world's turn to strap in behind the wheels of the Renault Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E. electric vehicles in one of the largest and longest media events for a plug-in vehicle we've ever heard of.
Thanks to AutoblogGreen tipster Marcos, we now know that at least 261 charging stations have been installed and are operational in Portugal. While that certainly seems like plenty, especially since only 100 or so electric vehicles are currently tooling around the streets of that country, there are apparently 1,000 additional chargers to come.
After flirting with Better Place back in 2008, Portugal got serious about promoting electric vehicles in 2009. That's when the first discussions about what would become the Mobi.E charging network took place. These talks encompassed how best to get ready for EVs with new legislation and tax incentives, developing new technology and how to coordinate a payment network so that chargers become like ATMs – universally available to anyone.
Nissan's Leaf is really getting around. On December 11th, Nissan forked over a Leaf to its first non-celebrity U.S. buyer. Nine days later, the automaker shipped 10 of its electric hatches to the offices of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government in Japan. Then, on December 22nd, Portugal took delivery of its first batch of Leafs, with the Portuguese electric mobility consortium MOBI.E getting nine of the automaker's electric vehicles, becoming Nissan's first commercial Leaf customer in all of Europ