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Nissan is steaming ahead at full speed on its electric car plans but it's not ignoring the infrastructure elements required to make those vehicles a viable proposition. This week, the automaker announced a partnership with the city of San Francisco to help create the elements needed for success. The city is a part of the Bay Area EV corridor that covers the entire region from the Golden Gate bridge down to Silicon Valley and up through Oakland and Berkley on the east side.

The governments in the region will work to streamline the approval process for installing charging stations both in residences and public places. In order for electrics to appeal to the mainstream, a region like the Bay Area will need thousands of publicly-accessible charge points to help ensure that drivers of the early-generation, shorter-range EVs don't suffer range anxiety. This will be less of an issue in the future if battery capacities and costs improve, but that time has yet to arrive.

[Source: Nissan]

press release

12.07.2009 , SAN FRANCISCO
Nissan LEAF Electric Car Available in Bay Area Next Year

Nissan North America, Inc., today announced that Nissan and the City of San Francisco, on behalf of the Bay Area EV Corridor program, are working to advance zero-emission mobility by promoting the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the nine-county region. The cities of Oakland and San Jose, county governments in the Bay Area and other public and private stakeholders are participants in the regional EV Corridor program.

As part of the collaboration, Nissan has committed to making the Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle commercially available in the Bay Area upon its debut in December 2010. Nissan will work with San Francisco and the region to promote and develop a vehicle-charging infrastructure, including home charging, as well as streamlining the process for installing charging equipment. The Nissan LEAF will be the pilot vehicle for the implementation of this streamlined process.

"Nissan is committed to the San Francisco market and is looking forward to working with the city and others in the partnership to make zero emissions a reality throughout the Bay Area," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. "In one year, Nissan LEAF zero-emission vehicles will be driving on the streets of San Francisco."

"We are making every effort to have the infrastructure ready when the Nissan LEAF arrives and we are extremely pleased to have Nissan as a collaborative partner in making that happen," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "This collaboration stems from Nissan's recognition of the aggressive work we are doing to make the San Francisco Bay Area the nation's EV capital."

In November 2008, Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Read and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums pledged to make the Bay Area the "EV Capital of the U.S." Stemming from that pledge, the Bay Area EV Corridor program was formed as the organizational structure through which municipal governments in the nine-county region and private stakeholders coordinate efforts to make the region EV-ready. Nissan is a participant in the project, and the collaboration announced today is an extension of that work.

Nissan and the City of San Francisco announced the collaboration today at San Francisco City Hall, where the Nissan LEAF made a stop on its nationwide tour. The Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour is making stops in 22 cities, in 11 states across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Vancouver in Canada, offering the opportunity for interested drivers, media, civic partners, businesses and university students to learn more about the Nissan LEAF and the benefits of zero-emission driving.

Nissan is the only automaker committed to making all-electric vehicles available to the mass market on a global scale. Nissan already has formed partnerships to develop electric-vehicle infrastructure in the State of Tennessee; the State of Oregon; Sonoma County and San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Washington D.C.; Seattle; Raleigh, N.C., Houston, Texas, and Vancouver.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car.

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