In July of this year, Nissan confirmed its intention to invest into a production plant to supply batteries for electric vehicles to be produced by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Construction of the plant will start in 2010 with production commencing in 2012. Projected annual capacity is 50,000 units.
Prime Minister Jose Socrates said: "After becoming a leading country in renewables, Portugal aims being a pioneer in electrical mobility as it is developing a nationwide charging network for EVs. The battery factory of the Renault-Nissan Alliance reinforces Portugal’s role as a place to research, produce and test components and solutions for EVs.
Carlos Ghosn said: "We have been consistently impressed with the forward-looking and proactive attitude of the Portuguese government towards the introduction of mass-marketed zero-emission vehicles. Our ability to make this investment utilizing the Renault CACIA facility makes this a win-win for Portugal and for the Alliance."
Under the agreement with the Government of Portugal, Nissan will invest over €160 Million in the new facility and directly create 200 new jobs at the plant. This investment follows the announcement in November 2008 that Portugal will work with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to implement a zero emission mobility program from 2010. Within this plan, the Alliance will supply its electric vehicles from January 2011, and the Portuguese government will leverage an extensive network of 1,300 planned recharging stations that will be installed across the country over the coming two years.
"Among the world’s automakers, Renault and Nissan are unique in our strategy to create a network of battery production facilities," said Hideaki Watanabe, Alliance Managing Director of the Renault-Nissan zero emission business. "Portugal joins a growing list of countries making significant commitments to the reality of zero-emission mobility."
The Renault-Nissan Alliance – the world’s third largest automotive group by volume – is committed to being a leader in zero-emission mobility. Starting with the Nissan LEAF in late 2010, the Alliance has already announced plans for seven electric vehicles to be mass marketed under the Renault, Nissan and Infiniti brands. In addition to Portugal, the Alliance has also confirmed battery production locations in France, Japan, the US and the UK.