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Oregon, Nissan Unveil Electric-Vehicle Initiative

November 21, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Renault/Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn told reporters that Nissan will bring a fleet of electric leased vehicles to the state of Oregon as a first step to having "pure electric" vehicles on U.S. roads by 2010, reported.

Ghosn announced the news at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Ghosn said Nissan has penned an agreement with the state of Oregon and the Portland General Electric utility, which will develop the required recharging infrastructure.

The cost and range limitations of current lithium-ion battery technology remain an stumbling block for widespread adoption of electric cars. Nissan's long-term plan is to lease the batteries separately from the electric cars themselves, reported. This would give owners the option to upgrade as battery technology advances. Nissan partnered with NEC earlier this year to produce the batteries for its electric cars.

Ghosn said Nissan's aim is to make the purchase of an electric vehicle a "seductive" choice "that has as an added bonus of being good for the environment," reported.

The Renault-Nissan alliance said in a statement that it has "the intention of becoming one of the world's leaders in zero-emissions vehicles."

The company has already set up zero-emissions projects in Israel, Denmark, Portugal, Japan and France, as well as in Tennessee in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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