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2023-05-22 at 14h33

Car industry is essential to contain climate change

Prime Minister António Costa and Secretary of State for the Economy Pedro Cilínio visit the electric light commercial vehicles plant, Abrantes, 22 May 2023

Prime Minister António Costa presided over the ceremony of start of production of the new eCanter – the Mitsubishi Fuso full electric commercial vehicle – at the plant of the Japanese company in Tramagal, Abrantes. The eCanter will only be manufactured in one other location, the Kawasaki plant in Japan.

The ceremony also signalled 250 thousand Canter vehicles having been manufactured here since 1980.

António Costa congratulated Mitsubishi Fuso "for these two important milestones, on the one hand the production of 250 thousand vehicles and, on the other, the production of a new and full electric vehicle, where the Tramagal will be the point of manufacture of the eCanter for the whole of Europe".

Manufacturing electric vehicles responds to the challenges of the energy transition imposed by climate change, recalling that "70% of all carbon emissions" come from mobility" and, as such, "the car industry is of the utmost importance and decisive" for the country to adapt "to the new challenges" set in the Paris agreement to contain climate change.

"To be carbon neutral by 2025 it is not enough to wait for time go pass, we need to make the decisions today and do what is necessary for our societies to be carbon neutral in 2050", he said, adding that today "a step of the utmost importance has been taken towards that goal" with the start of production of the full electric eCanter.

The production of the new electric commercial vehicle and the 250 thousand Canter vehicles "clearly show the full potential of this unit", which represents "a long tradition of collaboration in the industrial areas between Portugal and Germany and the Japanese car industry".

The ceremony included a visit to the eCanter plant and speeches by the general directors of the Mitsubishi truck and bus sectors and the company’s truck sector for Europe, the secretary of State for the Economy, Pedro Cilínio, and the Prime Minister.

The vehicles manufactured in Portugal are exported to 32 European countries and Morocco. Almost all of the components used in the Tramagal plant are manufactured in European countries and the plant has reached carbon neutrality.

Mitsubishi Fuso is the third largest car manufacturer in Portugal and employs 530 workers. It ended 2022 with more than 10,000 units of Canter models produced, and turnover of 270 million euros.