Lisbon, Portugal – Nissan has signed a letter of intent with the government of Portugal to study the establishment of a lithium-ion battery plant in that country. This could make Portugal the second country after Japan where Nissan would invest in a full-scale manufacturing facility for its advanced lithium-ion batteries.

The Japanese automaker has announced it plans to mass market electric vehicles in Europe and globally by 2012.

In November, Portugal became the first European country to sign a final agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance for a plan to ready 1,300 vehicle charging locations by 2011, along with various incentives for electric vehicle buyers, including income tax reductions. The Alliance will bring electric vehicles to Portugal in early 2011, making it one of the first countries to be supplied with the company’s electric vehicles.

Nissan’s joint venture will start producing lithium-ion batteries in Japan in mid-2010, with an initial start-up level of 13,000 units and annual production capacity of 65,000 units.

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