After a San Francisco Bay Area resident became the first in the United States to receive the delivery of all electric Leaf, Nissan Motors on Saturday carried out its first Leaf delivery in the Seattle region.
Jonathan Hoekstra, a senior scientist with the Nature Conservancy, received a red Nissan LEAF SL at stadium Nissan.
"Electricity is the new fuel for cars, and the Nissan LEAF has the potential to transform the automotive industry and the way people drive," said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas.
For more than two years, Nissan has been working in collaboration with the City of Seattle to foster the development of electric vehicle-friendly policies and an EV-charging infrastructure.
"We need to give people sustainable transportation choices in our city," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "With rising fuel prices and the threat of global warming, we need to move fast to support these better choices. And supporting Nissan's effort to sell electric vehicles in Seattle moves us closer to that goal."
Earlier, the Japanese automaker delivered a black Leaf to 31-year-old entrepreneur Olivier Chalouhi, at a dealership in Petaluma, California.This was the first delivery of the Leaf.
Nissan Motor will sell 500,000 electric vehicles annually by the end of 2013, Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn had told reporters on eve of the market debut of the Nissan Leaf.
"We're going to have to put some efforts into selling the car, but the kind of spontaneous demand is going to be driving the sales for the next three years," Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said. "There is such a curiosity about the car and attention to the car."
The car has already sold out for this fiscal year in Japan at 6,000 orders and in the U.S. at 20,000, reaching production limits.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the 2011 Nissan Leaf a mileage rating of 99 miles per gallon (mpg); besides dubbing the electric car to be the "best" for fuel efficiency and the environment.
Nissan has priced its five-passenger 2011 Leaf at $32,780 plus a not-yet-announced destination fee. As an all-electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit. This brings the price down to $25,280, making it an affordable choice for a cutting edge alternative vehicle. Additionally, Nissan has arranged for consumers to either buy or lease the Leaf and will begin delivering the vehicles in December.
Electric vehicles (EVs) purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to fuel the vehicle.
Governments across the world have set aside billions of dollars in the form of subsidies for early adopters of these alternative energy cars and to boost production of batteries for such vehicles despite persisting doubts about how many people will actually buy them.
The Department of Energy said it is investing $2.85 billion in electric vehicles of which $2 billion will go to help American carmakers produce advanced vehicle batteries and drive train components. Around $400 million will be invested to buy, test, and deploy different types of electric vehicles in the marketplace, and $300 million in cost-share projects under the 'Clean Cities' program.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9 percent of auto sales in 2020 and 22 percent in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively).
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