Renault-Nissan Alliance Signs Electric Vehicles Partnership in Québec

The Renault–Nissan Alliance today announced that Nissan Canada has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Québec, the City of Montréal, Québec City, Hydro-Québec and the Agence de l’efficacité énergétique du Québec to advance electric cars zero-emission mobility in Québec. The parties will work together to plan the necessary charging infrastructure and to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles in Québec.

"This agreement brings us a step closer to a governmental action plan on electric vehicles, which will be launched within the next few months," said Minister of Natural Resources, Nathalie Normandeau. “We are planning a series of concrete actions that will pave the way for the arrival of electric vehicles in Québec. Since 97% of our electricity comes from clean, renewable resources, Québec presents a number of advantages for the introduction of electric vehicles.”

“The Renault-Nissan Alliance has committed to being a global leader in zero-emission mobility, which is one of the best solutions for reducing CO2 emissions,” said Mark Grimm, President Nissan Canada Inc. “We look forward to bringing the Nissan LEAF, the only mass-market zero-emission car at an affordable price, to Québec. Our partners have already demonstrated their commitment to combating greenhouse gas emissions and we anticipate a productive collaboration.”

Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec’s President and CEO, added that "today’s announcement falls perfectly in line with our Strategic Plan 2009–2013 and other initiatives currently underway at Hydro-Québec. This memorandum of understanding will allow us to work closely with these important partners to carefully plan for the arrival of electric vehicles in Québec."

“Montréal is a true leader with respect to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alan DeSousa, Vice-President of the Executive Committee and responsible for finance, sustainable development, environment and parks. “The memorandum of understanding signed with our partners meets the objectives of Montréal’s Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development. It will raise our city’s profile in North America with regard to electric vehicles and will help us reach our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2020.”

Québec City’s Mayor, Régis Labeaume stated: “This partnership is in line with Québec City’s ongoing efforts to develop sustainable transportation. The implementation of the Écolobus service, a fleet of non-polluting, ultra-quiet electric minibuses that travel the streets of Vieux-Québec, is a great success that contributes to maintaining the quality of the capital’s environment.”

Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, is committed to making affordable, all-electric vehicles available to the mass-market globally. The Nissan LEAF, a five-passenger all-electric vehicle, will first be available in select Canadian markets, such as Québec, before the end of 2011.

The MOU agreement adds Québec to a growing network of zero-emission vehicle initiatives across the world.

Nissan Canada, Inc. (NCI) is the Canadian sales, marketing and distribution subsidiary of Nissan Motor Limited and Nissan North America, Inc. With offices in Kirkland (QC), Vancouver (BC), Mississauga (ON), NCI directly employs 250 full-time staff. There are 150 independent Nissan dealerships and 29 Infiniti retailers across Canada. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, which was formed in 1999, aims to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility. To date, the Alliance has entered into more than 60 partnerships worldwide with countries, cities, organizations and other key stakeholders to prepare the markets and necessary infrastructure for the successful adoption of electric vehicles around the world.

The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune manages land, energy, mineral, forestry and wildlife resources as well as land registration. The ministry relies on the latest research to ensure the conservation of Québec’s natural resources and territory while promoting their sustainable development for the benefit the entire population. The ministry is also responsible for developing and coordinating the government’s energy policy, ensuring the security of Québec’s energy supply, promoting mineral, petroleum and gas exploration as well as safeguarding the public and the environment with respect to such activities.

Montréal is Québec’s metropolis and the largest primarily French-speaking city in North America. It has a population of more than 1.6 million, of which almost a third are immigrants. With its 5,600-km road network, 4,100 km of streets and 200 km of highways, Montréal is the transportation hub of the province.

In 2008, Montréal adopted its first Transportation Plan, which proposed massive investment in alternatives to cars, including public transit, carpooling, carsharing and active transportation modes such as cycling and walking. A number of projects launched within the framework of this Transportation Plan have won prizes, including two 2009 Prix Environnement which were awarded by the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR) last week. Both award-winning projects encourage active transportation: the deployment of BIXI bicycles and the implementation of 50 km of new bike paths. The city has won AQTR prizes in the past: in 2008 it won the Prix Environnement for its project encouraging cycling downtown, and it earned a special prize for its Transportation Plan. In 2009, the Montreal transit commission (Société de transport de Montréal) won the Prix distinction for its public transit improvement program.

With a population of more than 500,000, the City of Québec is one of North America’s leading medium-sized cities, thanks to the beauty of its surroundings and its quality of life, as well as its vitality and the standard of living of its residents. This modern city is an educational hub focussed on development, innovation, and competitiveness on an international scale. A shining example of environmental management, this provincial and northern capital, is a major tourist destination, blending old-world charm with modern attractions.

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of wind energy through purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts research in energy-related fields, such as energy efficiency.