Nissan's electric vehicle (EV) involvement in Project Better Place programs in Denmark and Israel, plus test fleets in its home market of Japan will be joined by a new agreement with the state of Arizona. The deal will have cars hitting the streets of Phoenix late next year, and will see electric-vehicle infrastructure set up in the city over the coming year.

The goal of the project is not about selling cars but to raise the profile of the zero-emissions electric vehicles while also helping to work out ways to develop the infrastructure necessary to support their widespread use. The Arizona project isn't specifically involved with the Project Better Place initiative, but Renault-Nissan's involvement in so many similar projects will likely share the benefits across them all.

A network of charging stations to support the fleet of EVs between the Phoenix and Tucson areas will be built under the agreement. This latest agreement with Phoenix is another step in what is rapidly becoming a thoroughly global network of such projects for Nissan. Other carmakers, including Mini, Honda and Mitsubishi are also experimenting with varying levels of test markets for electric and fuel-cell vehicles, working to build awareness and the necessary fueling and charging stations to help roll out the next generation of the automobile.

The Renault-Nissan/Project Better Place alliance announced it would be building a similar project in Melbourne, Australia earlier this year, as well as in the cities of Portland, Nashville, San Diego and Sonoma County.

Nissan hopes to start selling electric vehicles to commercial and fleet customers as early as next year and is targeting the first general public sales by 2012.