Four months after signing an electric car deal with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Portugal has come up with a more concrete plan for charging these cars when they arrive.
Under the plan, 320 charging stations will be in place and ready to serve by the end of 2010, and 980 additional stations will be added by the end of 2011. Portugal plans to offer income tax credits, write-offs and parking credits to consumers and businesses to encourage electric transportation. These tax incentives will kick on by late 2010 and last at least five years, according to Renault-Nissan.
The country also wants 20 percent of its public vehicle fleets to consist of zero-emission cars starting in 2011.
Renault-Nissan plans to begin selling electric cars in Portugal and select markets in early 2011.
Although there's no word yet on who will be responsible for setting up the car-charging stations, Better Place is probably a good bet to be in the running. Renault-Nissan has a partnership with Better Place, a Silicon Valley startup, to popularize electric cars. Better Place, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is developing technologies to make it easy for drivers to swap out batteries or plug into charging stations. But the two don't always work together and have announced deals separately.
It also isn't clear who – the government, the charging station companies or some combination of the two – will pay for these electric-charging stations.
Nissan-Renault should benefit from the most recent Better Place deal, even if none of its representatives spoke at the publicity extravaganza that accompanied the announcement.
Better Place lined up hefty political support last week to say it plans to roll out a $1 billion project to build charging stations throughout the San Francisco bay Area (see Better Place Charges Up California). The press event featured concept cars from Nissan (see Earth2tech photos).
Nissan, whose boss Carlos Ghosn used to pooh-pooh gas-electric hybrid cars, is now investing heavily in developing all-electric vehicles.
In fact, during a recent interview with Greentech Media, Nissan's senior vice president of technology development, Minoru Shinohara, said the company has shifted its priority from developing plug-in hybrids to all-electric models (see Is Nissan Building a Car That Charges Itself?).
"The electric car is the ultimate solution," Shinohara said.
Aside from Portugal, Renault-Nissan has recently snagged other deals. Last week, it said it would work with the state of Oregon and one of the state's utilities, Portland General Electric, on developing an electric-car charging network. The carmaker plans to start selling electric cars in the United States in 2010.
Two days after the Oregon announcement, Renault-Nissan said it plans to sell electric cars to nine cities within Sonoma County and the county government. The car company also will help with the development of a charging network in the county, which is located in the wine country north of San Francisco.
Within the United States, the carmaker has similar deals in place with the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Globally, it also has inked agreements with Israel, Denmark, the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, the French utility EDF and Monaco.
Although one of Western Europe's poorer country, Portugal has some of the region's best roads. The nation used EU subsidies to fix up its road system over the past two decades.