Phoenix, AZ One of Several U.S. Locations Promising to Develop EV Infrastructure

Phoenix, Arizona is just one of several U.S. locations pledging to develop the electric vehicle infrastructure needed before companies like Nissan and its French partner Renault can unleash their next-generation hybrid and green cars stateside.

Nissan and Renault want to market lithium-ion vehicles around the world starting next year, and have been working to create partnerships with governments and utility companies to start developing the needed infrastructure. The largest obstacle is the creation of charging stations, where electric vehicle owners can plug in their vehicles to recharge them. Home owners will likely need utilities to install special charging stations in garages as well.

In Arizona, Nissan hopes to create a sort of "electric corridor" running 115 miles from Phoenix to Tucson, where several charging stations would be available. The agreement there has been made with the Maricopa Association of Governments, a government body that represents 31 communities around Phoenix.

The list of U.S. locations that have said they will develop the infrastructure includes Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona, San Diego and Sonoma Country in California, and the states of Oregon and Tennessee. Around the world, the countries of Ireland, the U.K., France, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Israel and Monaco have joined the agreement.

Nissan will begin selling electric vehicles to commercial and fleet customers next year, with plans to bring them to the general public in 2012. If the infrastructure is in place before 2012, Nissan could start selling its electric vehicles to the public earlier. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's CEO, has said that Nissan will offer several electric models.

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