Nissan has axed a plan to make electric vehicle batteries in Portugal.

A spokesman told Reuters Nissan had decided its current planned electric vehicle (EV) plants in Europe were capable of meeting the worldwide battery production plan and the automaker had therefore decided to suspend the battery plant project in Aveiro.

Antonio Pereira-Joaquim told thew news agency: "The Portuguese project is suspended without a date for reactivation. We are going to study alternatives for the use of the building that has already been built."

He added: "We've analysed our battery output capacity and our four plants basically can make what had been expected to be produced by five plants. The Portuguese plant is the only one that is not adjacent to a Nissan car plant [others include Smyrna, Tennessee and the Sunderland plant in England - ed] so it was suspended."

The company denied that the decision had any links to the current economic crisis in the country which is facing its worst recession since 1974.

The plant project was expected to create jobs for 200 people and become a key battery supply source for Renault and Nissan EVs. It had planned annual production capacity of 50,000 batteries for local and export supply by 2015.

The current economic crisis has forced Portugal to seek a EUR78bn bailout from the EU and IMF.