Portugal is pursuing an integrated strategy for electric vehicles (EVs) to ensure they are a viable transportation option in major cities by the end of 2011. In the recent past, the energy supply has comprised fossil fuel imports of coal, natural gas, or oil.
However, the energy supply is changing—as of 2009, Portugal is producing 43%, or approaching one-half, of its energy from domestic renewable sources such as hydro, wind, and solar power.
As a result of this increased reliance upon domestic renewable energy, the nation is interested in converting its transportation system entirely into electricity-powered vehicles. Portugal currently has about 2,500 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on the road, but the national policy focus has switched to pure EVs.
Electric mobility represents a crucial opportunity for future sustainability in Portugal. Increased use of EVs powered by domestic renewable energy results in reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other air and noise pollution.
EVs powered by domestic renewable energy will also lessen the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and lead to improved trade balances.
In early 2008, the Portuguese Government launched a national Program for Electric Mobility, aimed at creating an innovative electric mobility system that includes intelligent electric grid management. As a result, MOBI.E (from the phrase Mobilidade Eléctrica) was created as an innovative electric mobility model and technology and is the first charging network in the world with national coverage.