Portugal to bypass Project Better Place, promote EVs with Renault-Nissan

The recent report that Portugal would join up with Project Better Place on EVs was apparently only partially correct. Portugal is indeed partnering directly with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to promote zero emission vehicles, but Project Better Place will evidently not be in the picture. The automakers and the Portugese government will work together to determine what needs to be done to make electric vehicles market viable in Portugal as well as what infrastructure will be needed to facilitate large numbers of EVs. Renault Nissan has committed to mass marketing its upcoming electric vehicles in Portugal starting in 2011. The government and the manufacturers will also collaborate on educating Portuguese drivers on the benefits of zero emissions vehicles. The Renault press release is after the jump.

[Source: Renault]


LISBON (July. 9, 2008) – The Government of Portugal and the Renault Nissan Alliance today announced a partnership to promote zero-emission mobility across that country. The partnership was launched today in Lisbon, in the presence of Mr. José Sócrates, the Prime Minister of Portugal, and Mr. Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault and President and CEO of Nissan.

Portugal is the first partner to join the Alliance in a direct program of this type. Under the commitment of the Alliance to be the global leader in zero-emission vehicles, this initiative aims to bring together the public and private sectors to create the necessary conditions to make zero-emission vehicles a viable and attractive solution for consumers.

Under the framework agreement signed today, the government of Portugal will focus on three core areas:
1. To jointly study with the Alliance how to create the right conditions to make electric vehicles an attractive offer for Portuguese consumers;
2. To study the infrastructure and related organizations required to create a nationwide network of charging stations for electric vehicles; and
3. To identify the most effective communication and education channels to raise awareness of electric vehicles.

The Alliance has agreed to mass market its electric vehicles to consumers in Portugal, starting in 2011. Portugal will be one of the lead global markets for the introduction of unique models of all-electric vehicles from the Alliance.

"Portugal has become a leading country in renewable energy. This agreement with Renault-Nissan will place Portugal also on the front line in terms of sustainable mobility with zero-emission vehicles. Promoting electric cars in Portugal will reduce our dependence on imported oil and will contribute to a cleaner environment," said Prime Minister José Sócrates.
"With the rising cost of oil and continuing concerns about C02 emissions, we believe the ultimate solution to sustainable mobility will be the mass availability of zero-emission vehicles," said Carlos Ghosn. "Portugal is a recognized global leader in the development of renewable energy, and we applaud the government's actions to make electric cars an economic reality for their citizens."

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