Portugal announced a plan Monday to install about 1,300 recharging sites for electric vehicles over the next two years, part of an effort to create a mass market for environmentally friendly electric cars expected to go on sale next year.
The center-left Socialist government is aiming to reduce energy imports and emissions. Having no oil or coal, Portugal has long imported most of its energy. However, in recent years it has become a European pioneer in the development of clean energy. The government claims renewable sources can already meet 43 percent of the country's electricity needs.
The first stage of deployment will include recharging sites in 21 cities and rural districts chosen for their high population density and traffic volume, the Economy and Innovation Ministry said. The sites are to be established at gas stations, shopping malls and wired parking spots, among other places. The network is being built by a consortium of five companies, the government said.