Monday, 27 December 2010 20:35Prime Minister José Socrates is one of the ten recipients that will now travel exclusively by Electric Car for his official travels around the capital city. With this Portugal becomes the first country in the world to have a head of state using an electric car for official matters. Prime Minister, Jose Socrates, said, "Portugal is extremely proud of the introduction of the electric vehicle. This initiative is only possible due the fast implementation and development of the Portuguese MOBI.E Charging Network, which is considered a leading example to the world of how to roll out electric cars. Portugal is the first country in the world to have a nation-wide smart grid for electric vehicles." Portugal is the first country in the world to implement an electric vehicle-charging network at a national scale. The MOBI.E network, which currently spreads over 25 municipalities throughout the country, displays over 50 charging points already installed growing to more than 1300 normal charging points and 50 quick charging stations by mid-2011. The launch in Portugal in January of Nissan's Leaf marks the start of the first rollout in Europe of the first 100 percent electric car aimed at a mass market. Nissan chose Portugal - where it will be assembling batteries for the Leaf – because it will have a national network of charging points compatible with any make of electric car. It is part of long-term plans for a "smart grid" to make good use of the fast-expanding renewable energy capacity. The Mobi.E consortium is installing 1,300 chargers around the country while the government is offering a 5,000-euro subsidy for buyers of electric cars - bringing the Leaf's price down to 30,000 euros. Portugal's long-term target of 750,000 electric cars comes with plans to expand renewable energy output Portugal today generates more 40 percent of electricity from sustainable sources. EDP officials overseeing the development of the electric grid are planning a future in which drivers will be able to profit from helping ensure that same energy is used efficiently, when electric cars have Internet capability.
This is happening as hydroelectric dams already store excess energy from wind farms; this is used to pump water uphill, to be used to generate power when demand is high. Now the groundwork is being laid for a smart grid that could see cars playing a similar role. As the first step in what is to be a nationwide program, EDP in 2010 made Évora in the Alentejo, a city of some 50,000, the first "InovCity" in the future national
"InovGrid." Consumers have access almost to real-time information as to their energy consumption, so they'll be able to manage that better. The Leaf itself can already communicate with the charging point: identifying itself and its charging specifications and needs, as well as its owner.