By offering a set of tax, financing, and convenience incentives, the government of Portugal announced Saturday that it will partner with Renault and Nissan to ensure that at least 20% of its public fleet vehicle purchases be zero-emissions vehicles by the year 2011. The centerpiece of the plan is a network of 1,300 charging stations, strategically placed throughout the region, the cost of which has not been announced. The stations will be ready for use by 2010, and Renault and Nissan will start delivering its electric cars in early 2011, making Portugal the first European country to take delivery of the electric vehicles from the Renault-Nissan alliance. (The rest of the mass market will have to wait until 2012 to but the Renault-Nissan EV.)
While this announcement is revolutionary, it's not the very first of its kind: similar deals have been penned state-side between Renault-Nissan and Oregon and Tennessee.