The Renault-Nissan Alliance today announced that Nissan and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the utility company operating in the San Diego, Calif., region, are forming a partnership to advance zero-emission mobility by promoting the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

Nissan will introduce ZEVs in the United States in 2010 and will mass market ZEVs globally two years later. The announcement coincides with the first stop on a coast-to-coast tour of Nissan's EV Prototype, a vehicle that's powered by Nissan's lithium-ion battery pack and zero-emission electric motor. While this vehicle does not represent the design of Nissan's electric vehicle that will be sold in 2010, the EV Prototype is an indicator of what's to come in zero-emission mobility.

"Nissan through the Renault-Nissan Alliance has committed to being a global leader in zero-emission vehicles," said Dominique Thormann, senior vice president, administration and finance, Nissan North America. "Nissan and SDG&E have a shared belief that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles is one of the best solutions to reducing CO2 emissions. This partnership is an important step in making zero emissions a reality in San Diego."

As part of the agreement, Nissan will assist SDG&E in EV acquisition as well as work with SDG&E to develop plans to promote a charging infrastructure for EVs. Together, Nissan and SDG&E will form a working team with area agencies, institutions and companies to work towards the implementation and maintenance of a battery charging network and establish and support education activities designed to promote the use of EVs.

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"We are proud to be embarking on this clean transportation initiative with Nissan," said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E. "This collaborative effort is the first step in making San Diego ‘plug-in ready.' We're excited about creating new job opportunities for our region and furthering San Diego's vision of being at the center of growth for clean technologies."

Lori Holt Pfieler, Mayor, City of Escondido and Chair, San Diego Association of Governments; Stephen Cushman, Chairman of the Board of the Port of San Diego; and SDG&E CEO Debra Reed joined Nissan representatives in announcing the partnership at a ceremony at the Port of San Diego.

"SDG&E's partnership with Nissan is another step toward making San Diego a national center for clean technology and green practices," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. "The public and private sectors in this region are working hand-in-hand to promote innovation and adoption of environmentally friendly technologies."

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has begun ZEV initiatives in Israel, Denmark, Portugal, the Principality of Monaco, Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama city (Japan), and has formed partnerships with the French electric utility company EDF, the Swiss electric utility company Energie Ouest Suisse, the private-car hire service "greentomatocars" (UK) and with zero-emission transport system company "elektromotive" (UK). In the United States, the Alliance has agreed to ZEV partnerships in the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz., to explore ways to promote zero-emission mobility and the development of an electric-vehicle infrastructure.