Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan North America has rewarded Plug In America (PIA) for its long effort pushing for more plug-in vehicles with a $25,000 grant. Hey, that's about how much a new Leaf will cost (after tax credits). PIA will not use the money to buy a Leaf but to continue "efforts to speed adoption of mass-market plug-in vehicles through education and outreach." That's probably a better use for the funds, and Nissan has chosen a worthy group to give the money to. We'd be hard pressed to think of an advocacy group that has been working longer or louder to get plug-in vehicles on the road. PIA started in 2003 as DontCrush.com in response to the crushing of some electric vehicles, a tale displayed in the movie Who Killed The Electric Car?

PIA representatives are currently visiting Nissan's facility in Tennessee and learning about the company's plans to assemble the Leaf and its battery there, among other things. Nissan North America senior vice president Scott Becker said in a statement that
Plug in America has championed the benefits of electric vehicles with unwavering focus and consistency for the better part of a decade. We're gratified to be able to help support the organization's continuing efforts to increase positive awareness of EVs for consumers, manufacturers and policy-makers alike.


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[Source: Plug In America]

PRESS RELEASE

Plug In America Receives $25,000 from Nissan North America, Inc.


Nonprofit Will Use Funding to Ready Consumers for Re-Introduction of Plug In Vehicles

FRANKLIN, TN, April 7-Plug In America has received a $25,000 grant from Nissan North America, Inc. to support its continuing efforts to speed adoption of mass-market plug-in vehicles through education and outreach.

"We are thrilled that Nissan has acknowledged Plug In America's leadership in the reintroduction of EVs to the marketplace," Plug In America president Dan Davids said during a two-day meeting at Nissan headquarters here. "This grant will accelerate our efforts to educate industry, government, and consumers about the many benefits of plug-in vehicles."

Since its 2003 inception (as DontCrush.com) with campaigns to stop automakers from crushing EVs, Plug In America has worked tirelessly to build awareness and enthusiasm for the gas-free vehicles. Its efforts have ranged from high school lecture-demos with Tesla Roadsters to federal legislative advocacy and global media outreach.
With new EVs such as Nissan's Leaf slated to reach showrooms in just months, the nonprofit organization is currently working to boost purchasing incentives for plug-in vehicles and charging stations and to raise awareness of existing incentives. With the goal of maximizing consumers' daily driving experience, it is collaborating with municipalities, utilities, automakers and others to build the coming public charging infrastructure.

"Plug in America has championed the benefits of electric vehicles with unwavering focus and consistency for the better part of a decade," said Scott Becker, senior vice president, Nissan North America. "We're gratified to be able to help support the organization's continuing efforts to increase positive awareness of EVs for consumers, manufacturers and policy-makers alike."
Davids and seven other Plug In America board members accepted the grant during meetings with Nissan executives including Carlos Tavares, chairman and executive vice president for Nissan Americas. The meetings touched on topics from Leaf project updates to market research and will include a tour of the site in Smyrna, TN on which Nissan plans to build Leaf manufacturing and battery plants (the latter breaking ground in May).

In other "readiness" efforts to prepare all stakeholders for the plug-in vehicle reemergence, Plug In America created a comprehensive Plug-In Vehicle Tracker of myriad makes and models to come, and published its first annual "Definitive Guide to Plug-in Electric Vehicles." It helped to roughly double incentive funding in the California Air Resources Board's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and boost funding in the federal stimulus bill for plug-in vehicles.

About Plug In America: Plug In America is leading the nation's plug-in vehicle movement. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. For more information: http://www.pluginamerica.org
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