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Rise of electric cars prompt ‘smart’ electrical grids in Portugal …

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Smart Electric Cars

Rise of electric cars ‘smart’ electrical grids in

Portugal’s long-term target of electric cars fits its smart energy plans. the country has 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

The Leaf will launch in in January

The launch in Portugal in of Nissan’s Leaf marks the of the rollout in Europe of what the says is the first 100 percent car aimed at a mass market.

targeted Portugal — it will also soon be batteries for the Leaf — that country’s government to setting up a national network of points.

In fact, the network is to be with any make of electric and is part of still more long-term plans for a genuinely grid that could Portugal make fuller use of its renewable energy capacity.

The government wants to expand its of charging stations

In early amid ultra-modern architecture at the site of the Expo 98 World in Lisbon, members of the Portuguese got the chance to test drive the

Portuguese consumers are curious electric cars

Comments from the polite to the enthusiastic, the lack of engine noise the obvious characteristic of what at glance looks like a five-seater family run-around. But the lack of engine noise some new problems.

For instance, the headlamps have a design to avoid air going to the said António Joaquim, the director of Nissan Iberia

The exterior mirrors on a normal car a lot of noise with the wind. But on car, which doesn’t any noise from the engine, all the small noises that on cars are not perceptible are — say, uncomfortable.

The more matter of charging the car seems a small panel on the bonnet to reveal something rather to an ordinary electric plug.

If you to charge when you are parking a garage in your own house or in a centre, it’s better to it on the bonnet, Joaquim added. a completely different usage a combustion engine. You just the car during your daily

Charging stations are scarce for but are expected to increase

There are two options: a partial quick for example when you are on the motorway and do not to stop for long, or a cheaper charge of up to eight hours.

buyers in Lisbon seemed to the limitations of electric cars on

It’s a nice car, and a prospect for someone like me who has an life, and drives about 30 or 40 to work and back, said one who declined to give his name.

The design of the Leaf’s lithium means that you can drive the car for

AutoMotor’s editor thinks the European Car of the Year jury out on the Prius

But even a fully-charged has a more limited range a car with a full fuel So the fact that it recently was European Car of the Year — the completely electric vehicle to do so raised some eyebrows.

Pereira, editor of Portuguese car AutoMotor, told Deutsche he suspected the competition’s jury may been anxious not to miss a having previously failed to the first version of the Toyota which later became a

The Nissan Leaf is, he said, an experiment, and Portugal a suitably testing ground, but with problems.

Recharging stations are few in number and mainly in the big cities, he

And in Portugal we mainly live in So either you have a parking in your building or you have to at night in the public recharging That’s complicated because won’t be one for each.

Portugal for dynmaic energy flow in its grid’

Still, the spread of charging points in Portugal is the the Leaf is getting its European in the country.

The government-led Mobi.E is installing 1,300 chargers the country, compatible with all of car. In addition, the state is a 5,000 euro ($6,500) for buyers of electric cars bringing the Leaf’s price to 30,000 euro — and a exemption.

Portugal’s ambitious declared target of 750,000 electric on its roads also fits plans to expand its renewable output, going some way to sceptics’ argument that cars’ environmental impact on where their power from.

The Portuguese government is the purchase price of electric

We have defined as a target to be the country to have a nationwide and infrastructure for vehicles and to work to the necessary framework and incentives so we can massively introduce the electric Luís Reis of Mobi.E at a trade fair earlier year.


This is important not in terms of the sustainability of mobility but in terms of the strategy that we for energy.

Portuguese society has reliance on renewable sources

— for decades heavily on imported oil for its energy needs now generates over 40 percent of from renewables, and rising. And overseeing the development of the electric envision a future in which will actually be able to from helping ensure same energy is used when electric cars full internet capability.

You it home in the evening, plug it in to internet and power, and the car starts signals of electricity spot António Vidigal, a director of utility EDP, one of the Mobi.E told a conference on climate earlier this year.

Portugal now generates over 40 of electricity from renewables

At the price is low; the car will overnight, Vidigal went on. day you come to office, plug into both plugs. time energy will be and the car may sell energy back to the

As in many countries, hydro-electric in Portugal already store energy from wind this is used to pump uphill, to be used to generate when demand is high. Now the is being laid for a smart that could see cars a similar role.

As the first in what is to be a nationwide programme, EDP in made Évora in the Alentejo, a with a population of some the first InovCity in the future InovGrid.

Smart Electric Cars

Consumers have almost to real-time information as to energy consumption, so they’ll be to manage that better, Miguel Andrade, a director of EDP the group’s distribution unit.

the company’s side obviously we to have operational efficiencies this. We hope to integrate renewables, more micro-generation and in the medium to long-term also the vehicle into the grid.

I we’re genuinely witnessing a in the way we manage distribution networks.

investing in Portugal

But if it’s days for integrating cars this vision, what of models? The Leaf on show in cannot, slot into a grid. But, he said, the is easily adapted.

We are implementing the electric vehicles so we have to be cost efficient people would not buy them, António Joaquim, Nissan communications director. That is why the don’t have this and the doesn’t have this

But from the utility’s point of the technology is already known, the car industry the technology is already so I don’t think that is a difficult thing to implement on. It’s a question of software.

has already begun rolling out charging stations

The Leaf can already communicate with the point: identifying itself and its specifications and needs, as well as its — who will after all be for the power as part of the electricity sent to his home.

Some see models such as the Leaf as a public relations exercise for that still devote of their investment to conventional Nissan’s own projections for electric do not go beyond 10 percent of total

But given that the company is factories in Japan, the US and the UK dedicated to the Leaf — and which it be difficult and expensive to convert to other cars — the is perhaps not the prime target for accusations.

Everybody in the automotive is trying to do their own ‘greenwash’, ‘green’ products — and are less polluting than but not that green, said Pereira, editor of AutoMotor.

I think Nissan is probably a lot of risks with the electric car but not doing greenwash — not at

Author: Alison Roberts,

Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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