"Companies such as EDP, Efacec, Critical Software, Martifer and Siemens, which, together, have developed MOBI.E’s charging solution, want to set an example by being the first entities to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets. The existence of a charging network constitutes the most crucial element in the affirmation of the electric vehicle. With MOBI.E – the most advanced and intelligent solution for charging worldwide – the incentives and legal frame as defined by the Government, Portugal brings together all the essential conditions to become the first Living Lab for electric vehicles", said João Dias, on behalf of MOBI.E.
At the ceremony, Tavares also handed over a set of keys to the Portuguese government who receives one Nissan LEAF on loan for test-drive purposes.
Prime Minister José Sócrates, who accepted the keys on behalf of the government, said:
"We are extremely pleased to be introducing the electric vehicle in Portugal. After 3 years of collaborative work between the Government, public entities, the corporate consortium which developed the MOBI.E solution and Nissan, we have achieved the first smart, built-in charging network on a national scope, therefore we are the first country to welcome electric vehicles. By combining in a pioneer manner our commitment to renewable energies, the implementation of the smart charging network and the introduction of electric vehicles, Portugal will be in the lead of the transition to a more sustainable future."
Portugal was the first country in Europe to establish a direct electric vehicle partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance in November 2008, signing an agreement to build a widespread recharging network at Portugal and to promote the benefits of zero emission mobility. MOBI.E, which is installing the network, has already set up charging points in 25 cities across the country Another 1,300 normal chargers and 50 fast chargers will be set up by Summer 2011.
"Today marks the start of a zero-emission mobility era in Portugal, one of the first countries in the world to adopt a nationwide electric mobility policy. We are honoured to be part of this new chapter in Portugal’s history with the 100% electric Nissan LEAF. Portugal’s commitment to environmental progress will inspire many other countries", said Tavares.
Nissan LEAF, which was recently awarded European Car of the Year 2011, is powered by a compact electric motor, which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops a power output of 109PS and 280Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90kW. The car has a range of 175 km (New European Driving Cycle) between charges, making it a practical proposition for many urban drivers.
Deliveries to customers have already begun in Japan and the United States while in Europe, deliveries to Portugal, Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands will start in the first quarter of 2011. Production of the car, which is currently being manufactured in Japan, is due to start in Sunderland, in the UK, from early 2013.
Nissan’s innovative thinking extends beyond zero-emission mobility. Under the PURE DRIVE label, Nissan manufactures an extended line-up of environmentally friendly, internal combustion engine vehicles offering class-leading fuel efficiency supported by advanced green technologies. Next year will see the arrival of the fourth generation Nissan Micra powered by a supercharged version of an all-new 1.2-litre three cylinder direct injection petrol engine with an Idling Stop system to offer spirited performance and CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.