Ireland has decided to go the plug-in route for its future transportation needs courtesy of the Renault Nissan Alliance. The Irish government, the Franco-Japanese automakers and electric utility ESB have signed an agreement that is expected to see battery-powered vehicles running around the Emerald Isle within two years. ESB has already set its own target to make all of its electricity generation carbon neutral and will be working with the government and automakers on building out a public charging infrastructure. Renault and Nissan are planning to launch production and leasing of electric cars in 2010 and rapidly increase volumes over the next several years.

[Source: Renault]

The Irish government, ESB and the Renault-Nissan Alliance move towards zero emission mobility

Dublin, 2009, April 3 Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced a major move in the electrification Irish motoring.

In a hugely significant and new collaboration between Government, between the semi-state electricity supplier ESB and between car manufacturers Renault-Nissan, these electric vehicles will be on Irish roads within 2 years.

"This historic agreement", said Minister Ryan "is proof of Government's firm intention to act on the electrification of transport. Some months ago, I announced the Government target to move to at 10% target of electric vehicles by 2020. Today's Memorandum of Understanding will help us not only realise, but surpass this target. We are well on our way and our streets will see the change very shortly".

The Memoranda of Understanding (signed by Minister Ryan on behalf of the Government) and by Padraig McManus (for ESB) will create favourable conditions for the distribution of electric vehicles to the Irish market by Renault-Nissan.

"In November, we sent a call to the market that Ireland was 'open for business' on electric cars. Our call has been answered by Renault-Nissan and I'd like to welcome them to the Irish market with this new product Today we sign, what I hope will be the first of many agreements with interested companies". The Irish Government's intentions are not product-exclusive.

"Today's initiative will transform our streets, will cut carbon emissions and change the face of transport in Ireland," he said. "Again we see the ESB stepping up to the plate to secure Ireland's future and I commend them for their vision and work in this regard".

"This collaboration will provide the world with a model for how electric vehicles can be achieved globally. We will continue to press ahead".

ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus described today's development as an "an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate its leadership in the green revolution, including in electric transport".

"ESB has set out its plans to become carbon-neutral by 2035 and carbon-neutral electricity will power an emissions-free transport system. ESB will roll out a charging network to support the development. We will guarantee open access to all electricity suppliers and car manufacturers and can ensure adherence to the strictest safety standards for the recharging points", he said.

"The roll-out of electric vehicles will provide major employment opportunities in a number of areas", he said.

Speaking at today's announcement, Andrew Palmer, Senior Vice President, Nissan Motor Company, said the Renault-Nissan Alliance looks forward to a successful partnership with Ireland.

"We regard Ireland as a leader in the EV project. Demography and political support make Ireland one of the most suitable locations for a large scale roll out of electric vehicles. Renault and Nissan are particularly pleased to be working with the Irish Government and ESB in putting in place the correct conditions to support electric transport".

About ESB

Founded in 1927, ESB is Ireland's leading electricity company. It is a vertically integrated utility that generates, distributes and supplies electricity in a regulated energy market.

ESB Group employs approximately 6,500 people and sub-company, ESB International, employs 1,200 on its overseas business that has spanned more than 100 countries. One of Ireland's most successful companies with an annual turnover of €3.5 billion, ESB has grown in value from €2.5 billion in 2002 to approximately €6.5 billion today.

The Renault Group generated global revenues of €37,791 million in 2008. It designs, engineers, manufactures and sells passenger and light commercial vehicles throughout the world. The Renault Group is present in 118 countries and sells vehicles under its three brands - Renault, Dacia and Samsung. The Renault Group employs 129,000 people worldwide.

Nissan Motor Co. generated global net revenues of 10.824 trillion yen in 2007. Nissan is present in all major global auto markets selling a comprehensive range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and light commercial vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. Nissan employs over 220,000 people worldwide.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance
The Renault Nissan Alliance, founded in 1999, sold 6,090,304 vehicles in 2008. The objective of the Alliance is to rank among the world's top three vehicle manufacturers in terms of quality, technology and profitability.

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