• Dec 12, 2010
2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

As we saw yesterday, the first Nissan Leaf was delivered to a non-celebrity customer yesterday in San Francisco. The lucky new owner, Olivier Chalouhi, lives in the Bay Area and just happened to be the first person to get his order in back when Nissan opened up the process to Leaf handraisers in late August. Chalouhi is the chief technology officer of the stealth (for now) start-up Fanhattan, which has something to do with "the connected TV space."

According to Plug In Cars, Chalouhi only recently had a Level 2 charger installed in his rental house – for a while he was planning on only using a standard outlet because he only expects to drive his Leaf 20 miles a day. Nissan is proud of this delivery, releasing a statement that said, "This groundbreaking moment represents the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era." The statement also said:
The San Francisco Bay Area events kicked off more than a week of festivities, as Nissan delivers the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to each of its primary launch markets in Southern California, Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.
Away from the bright lights, though, it is beginning to look like there might be some delays in getting big shipments to people who ordered a Leaf. A glance at the My Nissan Leaf discussion forum shows that there is a lot of confusion over when the bulk of the vehicles will actually be delivered. And Wards Auto says that Nissan, "will push back launching the electric vehicle in some 'additional markets.'" Nissan has not yet responded directly to our question on the timing of widespread deliveries, but the statement about Chalouhi does say:
In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.
We're quite curious to see what the deal is. Compared to some of the failures to come through on promises made in the electric vehicle industry, we have to say that at least Nissan has delivered the first Leaf on time, which is a big deal. Let's hope the others aren't too far behind. Also, compared to the rest of the big OEMs, Nissan has most certainly done something they've been afraid to do: start making EVs. That's something worth celebrating. To get you in the mood, check out AutoblogGreen reader Chris' video upload of the Nissan live stream from the event after the jump.



[Source: Nissan, Wards Auto, Plug In Cars]



PRESS RELEASE

Nissan Makes History With Delivery of World's First 100% Electric Nissan LEAF to California Consumer

North Bay Nissan of Petaluma to deliver 100% electric car on Saturday; Press conference to follow after procession to San Francisco City Hall

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) makes history by bringing sustainable mobility to the mass market, with the world's first delivery of a Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle. Olivier Chalouhi, a San Francisco Bay Area resident and the first person in the United States to place a Nissan LEAF order, took delivery of his black Nissan LEAF SL at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma. The delivery was followed by a press conference at San Francisco City Hall Plaza. This groundbreaking moment represents the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.

Chalouhi, a 31-year-old entrepreneur is the founder of Fanhattan, a venture-backed stealth start-up in the connected TV space, where he serves as chief technology officer. He currently lives in Redwood City, Calif., with his wife, Jana, and their two children and holds a master's degree in computer science from the French Aeronautical and Space School. Before purchasing his Nissan LEAF, Chalouhi commuted to work on an electric bicycle.

"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. "Starting today, drivers have the freedom to choose a future that produces zero tailpipe emissions, moves away from our dependence on fossil fuels, and represents the end of trips to the gas station. This Nissan LEAF delivery is the first of thousands and signifies the dawn of a movement that brings sustainable mobility to within our grasp."

The San Francisco Bay Area events kicked off more than a week of festivities, as Nissan delivers the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to each of its primary launch markets in Southern California, Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee. Nissan also donated $25,000 to the World Wildlife Fund to mark the occasion.

"San Francisco is committed to make the Bay Area the top EV market in America, and the fact that San Francisco is the number one market in the nation for Nissan LEAF ownership reservations is proof we're on our way," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We are proud that Bay Area resident is the very first owner of a LEAF, anywhere in the world. We congratulate Olivier Chalouhi and the thousands of other Bay Area residents who soon will be driving electric cars, leading the way to climate friendly transportation."

In all of these first markets, Nissan has formed partnerships with local, regional and state governments along with utilities to foster the development of electric vehicle-friendly policies and an EV-charging infrastructure. Sonoma County, the home of North Bay Nissan, marks among the first of such partnership agreements. The delivery of these first Nissan LEAFs also marks a milestone for The EV Project, a research and charging infrastructure deployment project funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The first Nissan LEAF owners in San Diego and Arizona are participants in The EV Project, the largest EV infrastructure deployment project ever undertaken. AeroVironment Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAV) is working with Nissan to supply and install home charging docks for Nissan LEAF customers, nationwide, including Chalouhi as well as first customers in Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.

The initial Nissan LEAF deliveries will be followed by a second shipment of Nissan LEAF electric cars scheduled to arrive on Dec. 20 and destined for consumer driveways in time for the holidays. Nissan is on track for a nationwide launch of the Nissan LEAF by 2012, with Hawaii and Texas next to roll out in early 2011. In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.

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 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com
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