THE RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE has announced a partnership between it and the Victorian Government that aims to smooth the introduction of zero-emissions vehicles to the state's roads.
The Alliance will work with the Brumby Government to identify potential issues that may delay the wide scale uptake of battery-electric vehicles, principally the recently-revealed Nissan LEAF EV.
The LEAF is set to go on sale in Australia sometime in 2012, priced competively against similarly-sized and equipped petrol models.
"Technology for zero emissions mobility is a reality and we are prepared to proactively explore ways to bringing this technology to the market with collaboration from the government," said Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson.
"Our company is leading the world in the design and production of a battery-powered family-sized car and we aim to have this vehicle on sale in Australia by 2012.
"Today?s announcement of the signing of a strategic MoU with the Government of Victoria brings that reality closer."
One of the key concerns about the mass adoption of electric vehicles is the potential impact on the power grid, particularly given Victoria's heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants.
The environmental benefits of an electric car are negated somewhat when it's charged from an energy source such as coal, and this is one area the Alliance and the state government will examine.
"The Victorian Government is looking at the benefits of introducing and expanding electric vehicle technology for our State," Victorian State Government Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings said.