Nissan and rental firm Europcar have signed a partnership to market zero-emission cars around the world for the next three years.
Nissan is expected to reveal an electric concept car that is 95 per cent production ready at this year's Tokyo motor show, which starts in October. It will be put into production early in 2010 and will likely be used as the initial basis of the Europcar hire deal.
The electric car will be an all-new design, and will be followed by an electric conversion of the NV200 van, which is already on sale. In total, Nissan says it intends to bring five electric vehicles to market in coming years.
The scale of Europcar's operations is seen as crucial to Renault-Nissan’s plans to make electric technology affordable.
Eric Nicolas, a senior vice president at Nissan International, said: “Nissan and Europcar share the same belief that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles is one of the best solutions to sustain the growing need for mobility across the globe.”
Rafael Girona, Europcar chief operating officer, said: “We will give our customers the option of exploring a new means of mobility by giving them the unique experience of using an electric vehicle in order to encourage them to become better eco-citizens.”
The scheme will be rolled out first in Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.