"I wouldn't touch that thing with a ten-foot pole!" That's the statement we often hear when it comes to working on potentially dangerous electric vehicles (EVs). This anti-EV sentiment can be heard from shadetree mechanics and old-timers who aren't specifically trained to work on the high voltage, amped-up inner workings of EVs – or first responders who know the dangers to the inexperienced – but we often hear similar ramblings from trained automotive technicians. Nissan aims to put the myths of danger associated with working on EVs like the Leaf to rest by training technicians at its newly opened technical center in Livermore, CA.

The Livermore Training Center is Nissan's first facility built specifically to accommodate the complex training required for EVs. The facility boasts 23,000 square feet of space, houses three classrooms, features a component repair area, 16 bays and eight hoists. In addition to EV training, the Livermore facility will also act as Nissan's Northwest training center for more conventional vehicles. Follow the jump to read more about Nissan's state-of-the-art training facility.

[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE

NISSAN NORTH AMERICA OPENS LIVERMORE, CALIF. TRAINING CENTER


- Venue will play critical role in Nissan and Infiniti dealer training and quality initiatives -
Key new products to play starring role in "Open House"

Today, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) will celebrate the opening of its new Livermore Training Center, located about 45 miles east of San Francisco. The Training Center – located at 455 N. Canyons Parkway in Livermore - will provide dealership technician product training supporting the Northwest region which covers Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

The open house ceremony will be hosted by Mark Zinger, Nissan's Director of Customer Loyalty and Training, along with Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena. City Council and Chamber of Commerce members and representatives from Nissan and Infiniti's over twenty Bay Area, Northern California and San Joaquin Valley dealerships are also expected to participate.

In addition, today's program will showcase new, noteworthy vehicles – each making an early appearance in Northern California prior to their 2010 launch later this year:

Nissan LEAF – Hailed by industry observers as a possible 'game changing product,' this all-electric, zero emission, five-passenger vehicle has generated unprecedented levels of consumer interest prior to its market introduction scheduled for December, 2010. Already, over 14,000 interested consumers – many of whom are located in the Northern California - have placed a $99.00 refundable reservation for the car.

Nissan JUKE – Available in the Fall of 2010, this compact hatchback/crossover offers bold styling, unexpected levels of performance and an advanced torque vectoring AWD system. Powering the 2011 JUKE is a standard 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) Turbo, 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine – the first offering of engine in North America – which is rated at 180+ horsepower and 170+ lb-ft of torque.

Infiniti QX – This all-new full size, luxury sport utility vehicle offers an outstanding combination of refinement, roominess, advanced technology and power, providing maximum utility and all-season versatility. With 25 percent more power, 10 percent better fuel economy and first-class seating for up to eight, the 2011 QX features a high-strength steel frame and standard 5.6-liter V8 engine rated at 320 horsepower and 393 lb-ft of torque.

"Providing support to our retail partners via this new, state-of-the-art facility is a critical component of our efforts to ensure a quality ownership experience for our customers," said Zinger. "With our expanding presence in the Bay Area and Northwest, the Livermore location provides a central, easy-to-access location in a key market area.'

Covering more than 23,000 square feet of operational area, the center includes three classrooms, component repair area, a 10,000 square foot Vehicle Demonstrations Area featuring wheel service and alignment areas, 16 service bays, and eight vehicle lifts. In addition, courses on core curriculum will be conducted at the center, covering topics such as heating and cooling systems, chassis integrity, on-board diagnostics and emissions. Other meetings covering related sales and fixed operations training will be conducted at the venue, as well.

The Livermore facility will be one of two technical centers scheduled to open in the western United States this year, joining another facility in Ontario, Calif. set to open early this fall. A total of nine other centers support Nissan and Infiniti's total of over 1,300 retail locations and 9,000 technicians nationwide

Nissan North America, Inc.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, 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 Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infiniti.com.

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