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Renault, Nissan Plan to Electrify Portugal

Automakers Renault and Nissan have entered a partnership to bring electric vehicles to Portugal and develop a nationwide vehicle-charging infrastructure.

The Portuguese government and Renault-Nissan Alliance will conduct a study to determine what's needed to make electric vehicles attractive to consumers in Portugal. The government will also study the infrastructure and organizations needed to create a countrywide network of charging stations. It will also determine the most effective ways to raise awareness of electric cars.

In turn, the Alliance has committed to mass marketing electric vehicles in Portugal by 2011. Previously this year, the Alliance announced similar partnerships with Project Better Place and the governments of Israel and Denmark.

Project Better Place, founded by entrepreneur Shai Agassi, is committed to making electric vehicle use a viable option throughout the world. The company's plan is to create a large network of stations where electric car owners can charge their vehicles or swap out batteries. Drivers would purchase subsidized vehicles and pay a subscription fee to take part in the network.

Israel was the first country to team with Project Better Place at the start of this year, followed a few months later by Denmark.

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