Spain and Portugal sign Green car partnership
During a recent bilateral meeting for the groundbreaking of a cutting-edge cooperation project, the future INL (International Iberian Nanotechnology Center), Portugal and Spain also made an announcement concerning the automotive industry.
The two countries want to create the first green car in the Iberian peninsula, hoping to generate 150 million euros worth of investment and 800 new jobs in the region’s motor industry.
Spanish Minister for Industry Joan Clos said that the goal was to build an alternative to the high-polluting vehicles currently on the roads of Spain and Portugal.
“We want to create the technology that will allow us to consume the least amount of gasoline possible,” said Clos. “At this point there are high expectations (for the green car).”
Experts say oil prices close to $100 a barrel make it more attractive to invest in cars that can run on electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.
The head of Portugal‘s CEIIA research center, Braz Costa, said he hoped to produce a prototype by the end of the year. He said the car’s engine was likely to run on hydrogen fuel cells but an electric engine remained an option.
“Our goal is to create an environmentally friendly car that can be produced with technology from Portugal and Spain,” Costa told Reuters.
We are involving the private sector to take on the challenge of producing the car in the long-run and sell it to consumers,” he said. Costa said demand for green cars would rise as pressure to cut carbon dioxide emissions mounted on governments around the world.
“There is a paradigm shift. There are drastic changes taking place in the economy and the way we view transportation,” said Braz Costa. “When governments decide to charge an environment tax on high-polluting vehicles we are certain drivers will start looking for alternative ways of transportation.”