The event showed both Catalunya’s and Renault-Nissan’s commitment to introduce sustainable Zero Emission mobility as a real alternative to traditional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
In the context of European Sustainable Energy Week, Catalunya’s Minister of Planning and Sustainability, Mr Lluis Recoder i Miralles, hosted the event at the Delegation of the Government of Catalunya to the European Union. The event provided an opportunity to showcase examples of successful public-private partnerships and share Catalunya’s example with other European Regions. Lluís Miquel Recoder i Miralles, Minister of Planning and Sustainability of the Government of Catalunya, emphasised "Catalunya has a long-standing industrial tradition in which the automotive industry has long been a leader. The challenge of developing and promoting the use of electric vehicles is a strategic one. The government of Catalunya and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have already signed an agreement to develop electric charging points, which is essential if we want to promote the use of electrical vehicles. But we cannot stop here. We still have much work to do."
The conference underlined the Government of Catalunya’s proposition to promote the use of the Electric Vehicle through incentives for their purchase and use and to organise campaigns to publicise the advantages of zero-emission mobility.
Catalunya will also have the task of promoting and expanding a publicly accessible charging infrastructure to allow owners to charge their vehicles away from home or their place of work. The objective is to make 175 recharging points operational by June 2011, 300 by December 2011 and 1,170 by December 2012. A network of 12 Quick Charging points before December 2012 is also part of the plans. On its part, the car-making alliance will be responsible for the introduction of EVs to the region and will actively promote their use.
"Nissan is proud to contribute to the European Sustainable Energy Week with our partner, the Government of Catalunya. This partnership demonstrates once again, that all stakeholders working hand in hand to promote Zero Emission Mobility guarantee that the technical and financial conditions are fulfilled to make it a success," said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning and Zero Emission BU, Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, Nissan International SA. Thierry Koskas, Vice President Electric Vehicles Strategic Project of Renault, highlighted that "electric vehicles are today the only truly ecological answer to the key challenge of sustainable mobility in Europe. To make the zero emission revolution happen, partnerships with regions or cities are mandatory, to ensure that the charging infrastructure is progressively in place and that motorists get favourable conditions to buy or use their electric car. We hope a lot of regions in Europe will follow Catalunya’s example."
By the first half of 2011, Barcelona City Council already expects to have more than 250 charging points installed. In order to promote zero emission mobility, the council will also develop incentives and actions, such as: 75% reduction in vehicle circulation tax, free public parking and preferential access to restricted zones.
Throughout the day, an open-air exhibition of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s electric vehicles was accessible to passers-by and the conference’s guests in front of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the EU.
In addition, Renault has won the Sustainable Energy Award for 2011 in the ‘Producing Category’ for its Renault Tanger Méditerranée project. The project is the construction of a high capacity car manufacturing plant in Melloussa, Morocco, whose CO2 emissions will be cut by 98%, a figure that represents 135,000 fewer tons of CO2 every year, by optimizing energy consumption and using renewable energies.
European Sustainable Energy Week (ESEW) is a series of events organised in 44 different countries at the initiative of the European Commission which seeks to show, promote, discuss and celebrate energy efficiency and renewable energy.