Rio de Janeiro government, Sérgio Cabral, signed a multilateral intentions protocol with Renault-Nissan Alliance, Petrobras Distribuidora, Light, Ampla and Rio Negócios, which turns out to be a historical partnership.
This protocol is the first step to pave the paths to produce electric cars and develop infrastructure for it in the second largest city of Brazil.
This project is part of “Rio Capital da Energia” which is coordinated for Rio de Janeiro’s State Department of Economic Development, Energy, Industry and Services. “We want to make Rio de Janeiro a center of world power in the twenty-first century, repeating the vocation that Rio already has in the area of traditional energy”, said Julio Bueno, Rio de Janeiro’s finance secretary.
“Renault and Nissan are at the forefront of electrically powered vehicles. This new initiative reaffirms our global commitment to offer sustainable urban mobility with comfort and driving pleasure, “said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Nissan will inaugurate in the first half of 2014 the automobile factory in Rezende, (60 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro downtown city) with capacity of 200 thousand cars per year. The evolution of this protocol of intentions might make Rio de Janeiro the first state to mass-produce electric cars.
Brazil already has automakers for service electric vehicle such as Golf carts, airport support, forklifts and trucks for heavy industry. However, they operate on a small scale due to high taxes. It is clear that the Brazilian government needs to regulate electric vehicles’ situation in the country. Unfortunately, this still seems distant, as there is an almost absolute silence on the part of the federal Brazilian government with respect to the subject.
Proof of this is that the bill PLS415/12 from Senator Eduardo Amorim, who proposes tax exemption (IPI) for vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, should have been voted on last week. But, unfortunately, there were not enough quorums to do so and no new date has been scheduled.
The regulation and the development of electric mobility in Brazil have a long way to go and by all indications will not be quick, especially now that the country (after many decades) has returned to spontaneous large-scale protests, creating new priorities in the governmental schedule. But the signing of multilateral Rio de Janeiro’s intentions protocol was an extremely important step and should therefore serve as a model for other regions of the country.
Cabral and Ghosn invited the press and some very important people to participate of the event that was scheduled to be hosted in the governor’s palace (Palácio da Guanabara) at 8 am on June 18, 2013. However, the ceremony was cancelled because of the protests around the city.