RIO DE JANEIRO – Beginning this month, the city of Rio de Janeiro enters the zero-emission mobility era with the launch of the electric taxi program, a partnership between the Rio de Janeiro City Government, NBA and Petrobras Distribuidora. In the first phase, two Nissan LEAF taxis, pure-electric vehicles that produce no tailpipe-pollution, will be available in Rio. By the end of the year, 13 more units will be added to the fleet.
The first two electric taxis will be available at the Santos Dumont airport stand. Their batteries will be recharged in two Petrobras service stations at the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon and in the Barra da Tijuca area.
NBA was the only manufacturer to submit a proposal to the Rio de Janeiro City Government to select vehicles to serve as electric taxis. The delivery ceremony was held today at Nissan do Brasil's new headquarters in Rio with mayor Eduardo Paes.
The Nissan LEAF taxis in Rio were designed to meet the requirements of modern urban mobility offering space, comfort and power comparable with combustion engine models. Since its commercial launch in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 and in Europe in 2011, 50,000 units have been sold worldwide. The Nissan LEAF seats the driver and four passengers and offers a 160-kilometer range. The 48 lithium-ion battery can be recharged in up to eight hours or only 30 minutes via Quick Chargers to be installed by Petrobras.
Through the initiative, the City Administration is encouraging clean and low emission technology, as electric vehicles produce no tailpipe pollution or greenhouse gas and are a sustainable alternative compared to cars powered by oil products. The goal of the Rio de Janeiro Municipality, according to the city's climate policy, is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 16% by 2016 compared to emission levels of 2005.
"In view of the major events to be held in Rio, we can improve the visibility of clean-energy vehicles so that production and consumption models can be changed to a sustainable system," said Carlos Roberto Osório, Commissioner of the City Department of Transportation.
Nissan, the industry's pioneer in the production of mass-market, zero-emission vehicles, is giving full support to the City of Rio initiative.
"Nissan is in the global vanguard of electric vehicle technology," said Manuel de La Guardia, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, NBA. "This project in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where Nissan Brazil's headquarters have been located since the beginning of this year, reaffirms our global mission to promote a planet-friendly life without compromising comfort in urban mobility. This is a step forward towards our commitment to the country's development, by offering zero-emission cars designed with embedded Japanese quality and innovation."
Two Petrobras service stations will offer fast recharge to electric taxis: Posto do Futuro, at Barra da Tijuca, and Posto Escola da Lagoa, in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon region. Recharging the batter takes approximately 30 minutes. Electric taxi recharging at Petrobras service stations is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012 between Petrobras and NBA study the infrastructure expansion for electric vehicle recharging in Brazil.
NEW HEADQUARTERS IN RIO
The Nissan LEAF taxi delivery ceremony coincided with the official inauguration of Nissan do Brasil's new headquarters in the modern Porto Brasilis building, where the company has been established since January. With high-end technology and a Green Building LEED certification for meeting specific sustainability requirements, the Porto Brasilis building has nine intelligent elevators that save energy and reduce waiting time. Large glass panels allow natural light and reduce energy consumption. Nissan do Brasil occupies three floors (9, 10 and 17) with 300 employees.
NBA has chosen Rio to establish its new headquarters because of its investment in the construction of a new plant in Resende and sponsorship of the Rio 2016 Games. Downtown Rio is a privileged location where the City Administration is promoting a revitalization project, including the old harbor area, known as "Porto Maravilha."
The "Porto Maravilha" project was designed to recover the urban infrastructure, transport, environment and historical and cultural heritage of the Rio de Janeiro port. One of its goals is to improve housing conditions and attract new residents to five million square meters (m²) that is being revitalized by the Rio de Janeiro Municipality. The arrival of big companies, new tax incentives and quality public services has already stimulated population growth and the economy. Projections indicate population density will shift from the current 30,000 to 100,000 inhabitants by 2020 in the neighborhoods of Santo Cristo, Gamboa, Saúde, Cajú, Cidade Nova e São Cristóvão.
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About Nissan in Brazil – Growing significantly in recent years, Nissan aims to reach 5% of market share by 2014. To achieve this goal, the company will introduce eight new models in Brazil until 2016. Launched in 2011, Nissan Versa and Nissan March marked the company's entry in the two highest volume segments of the Brazilian market - compact hatches and compact sedans. Today Nissan do Brasil operates 160 stores across the country and has plans to increase this number to 239 by 2016. Producing in São José dos Pinhais, Parana, since 2002, Nissan announced in 2011 an investment of $ 2.6 billion to build a new factory in the country, in Resende, state of Rio de Janeiro, scheduled to begin operation in 2014 and capable of producing 200,000 cars a year.
Reinforcing its commitment to the country, Nissan will be the official sponsor of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games™, and the Brazilian Olympic Committee in the category "Cars." This partnership includes the delivery of 4,500 vehicles of various types that will meet the needs of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ™ and Team Brazil. This fleet will prioritize clean energy (ethanol or electricity), supporting the efforts of the Rio 2016™ to achieve the sustainability goals of the Games.