On the road
Taxes on the Portuguese automotive market represent roughly 20% of the total state tax income. With the exception of 2009, when auto sales fell in most countries due to the global recession, in recent years annual car sales have averaged slightly above 270,000 units (272,761 cars sold in 2010). Out of these sales, 335 EVs were sold during 2010, and 1,151 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) sold during 2009, the last year for which figures are available.
Though MOBI.E is not an EV deployment program, the MOBI.E consortium took delivery of nine Nissan LEAFs in December 2010, becoming the first commercial customer in Europe of the world's first mass-market 100% electric vehicle. The keys to the cars were handed over to the CEOs of the nine companies belonging to the MOBI.E consortium in a ceremony in Lisbon. Nissan also presented a set of keys to the Portuguese government, which received one Nissan LEAF on loan for test-drive purposes. Portugal was the first country in Europe to establish a direct electric vehicle partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance in November 2008, signing an agreement to build a widespread recharging network at Portugal and to promote the benefits of zero emission mobility.
In terms of energy efficiency, Portugal has become the first country to meet European Union fuel efficiency goals for cars, which set a target for cutting average emissions from new cars to 130 grams of CO2 per km by 2015. In fact, average emissions in Portugal's new car market were 127.4 grams of CO2/km in 2010, the lowest in the European Union.
As a consequence of the direct incentive for EV acquisition of €5,000 for the first 5,000 vehicles (exclusively for individual private users), and the strong disincentive against internal combustion engine (ICE)-based vehicles in favor of EVs for company fleets, it is expected that the number of EV cars on the road by the end of 2012 will be over 10,000 units. In absolute terms, two-wheelers will also be one of the main drivers for EV adoption in Portugal, with the deployment of specific charging solutions in specific locations.