Portugal's Prime Minister Becomes first Head of State to Use EV for Official Matters, Receives Nissan Leaf

The Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, has become the first head of state in the world to adopt an all-electric vehicle for official matters. On Wednesday, Portugal received delivery of the first 10 Nissan Leaf EVs to be offered in Europe, as recognition of the country's pioneering work in the electric mobility field with the MOBI.E Programme. One of those cars landing in the hands of Mr. Socrates, who will now travel exclusively by Electric Car (it was not disclosed if the Leaf would be the only EV in the fleet) for his official travels around the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon.

The 10 Nissan Leafs were delivered by Carlos Tavares, Vice-President of Nissan, in a special ceremony that took place in Parque das Nações, in Lisbon.

The 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 has jumped on EV bandwagon by implementing an electric vehicle charging network at a national scale. The MOBI.E network currently spreads over 25 municipalities throughout the country with over 50 charging points already installed. The plan is to install more than 1300 normal charging points and 50 quick charging stations by mid-2011. Furthermore, the country generates about 45% of total electricity consumption from clean energies.