Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan), a Japan-based automobile manufacturer, has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the Portuguese government to study the establishment of a lithium-ion battery plant in Portugal. The Renault-Nissan Alliance, an alliance between Renault SA and Nissan, will bring electric vehicles to Portugal in early 2011.

The establishment of a plant and a supply base with the cooperation of the Portuguese government will position the country at the core of Nissan’s plans to mass market electric vehicles in Europe and globally by 2012.

This could make Portugal the second country, after Japan, where Nissan would invest in a full-scale manufacturing facility for its advanced lithium-ion batteries.

In November 2008, Portugal became the first European country to sign a final agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, an alliance between Renault SA and Nissan for implementing a zero emission mobility program. The plan calls for 1,300 vehicle charging locations to be ready by 2011 and various incentives for electric vehicle buyers, including income tax reductions.

Defining the principles under which we would create a battery manufacturing base in Portugal is a significant milestone for Nissan. It will also clearly position Portugal at the forefront of Europe’s shift to zero emissions. said Carlos Tavares, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co.

The Portuguese Government designed in 2008 the model that will allow the development of a nationwide charging network for electric vehicles. Portugal is the world leader in renewable energy and combating CO2 emissions and changing the transports are key elements to create a truly sustainable model in terms of energy and environment. declared Manuel Pinho, Minister for Economy and Innovation.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has begun zero emission initiatives with Israel, Denmark, Portugal, and the Principality of Monaco, EDF, Energie Ouest Suisse (EOS) as well as the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon and Sonoma County in northern California in the US. In Japan, the Alliance has partnered with the Prefecture of Kanagawa and the City of Yokohama.