Electric cars from French company Renault and Japanese company Nissan will on the Irish market within two years, Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s Minister for Energy, said Friday.

This is one of the first steps in the government’s strategy to have 10 percent of all cars in Ireland electric by 2020. Based on current numbers, this equates to approximately 230,000.

Under the deal the Irish government signed with the two car companies, “favorable conditions” for the distribution of electric vehicles to the Irish market by Renault-Nissan will be created, the Department of Energy said.

Renault-Nissan will commit to providing electric cars for sale in the country by 2011, while Irish semi-state electricity company ESB will provide the infrastructure necessary to support the daily use of electric vehicles.

“Today’s initiative will transform our streets, will cut carbon emissions and change the face of transport in Ireland,” the Minister said.

“Again we see the ESB stepping up to the plate to secure Ireland’s future and I commend them for their vision and work in this regard.

"This collaboration will provide the world with a model for how electric vehicles can be achieved globally. We will continue to press ahead”.

ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus described the development as an “an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate its leadership in the green revolution, including in electric transport”.

Andrew Palmer, Corporate Vice President of Nissan, said that demography and political support make Ireland one of the most suitable locations for a large scale roll out of electric vehicles.