Nissan of Europe helped usher in France's era of electric mobility with the delivery of the country's first Leaf.

On August 2, Carine and Phillip Gerbaud got handed the keys to their white Leaf. Carine says she will use the Leaf for her daily 80-kilometer (50-mile) round trip commute and feels confident that the stated range of the electric hatchback (175 km, or around 100 miles) is plenty sufficient.

Philippe says the decision to buy the Leaf was driven by the couple's desire to "preserve the environment" and a need to save money. Phillipe explains:
We've been spending €400 ($58 U.S. at the current exchange rate) per month at the petrol station. From now, we should only pay €60 ($85 U.S.) per month in electricity. The extra cost of the vehicle will be recovered in one year after which the monthly fuel saving can be used as a contribution towards the monthly finance repayments.
Over in France, the Nissan Leaf is priced at €30,990 ($43,981 U.S.), after €5,000 in government incentives. Aside from France, European deliveries of the Nissan Leaf are already underway in the UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal. In addition, order books have opened in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Norway.

[Source: Nissan]
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NISSAN DELIVERS FRANCE'S FIRST 100% ELECTRIC NISSAN LEAF IN AIX EN PROVENCE

First French private customers received keys of their Nissan LEAF
a month in advance

Rolle, Switzerland (Aug 5, 2011) - Nissan West Europe brings electric mobility to France with delivery of the country's first 100% electric Nissan LEAF. Mr. and Mrs. Gerbaud took delivery of their white Nissan LEAF at NISSAN COURIANT in Aix-en-Provence on August 2nd. This groundbreaking moment represents France's first delivery of the 2011 European and World Car of the Year. This early delivery is also a demonstration of the company's effort to recover from the natural disaster of March 11th in Japan and the readiness of Nissan's EV dealer network in France.

Carine Gerbaud will mainly use her Nissan LEAF for daily commuting to her workplace. As she drives 80km per day on average, the Nissan LEAF's homologated range of 175km with a full charge is sufficient to cover her needs. Philippe Gerbaud said that their decision to buy an electric vehicle was not only to "preserve the environment" but also driven by the particularly low running costs the Nissan LEAF offers: less than 2€ per 100 km in France compared with about €7 for a similarly-equipped diesel family car.

"We've been spending 400€ per month at the petrol station. From now, we should only pay 60€ per month in electricity. The extra cost of the vehicle will be recovered in one year after which the monthly fuel saving can be used as a contribution towards the monthly finance repayments" explains Mr. Gerbaud.

The price of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF is €30,990 in France, after incentives and including the batteries which benefits from a five-year/100,000 km warranty. The French government's incentive for electric vehicles amounts to 5,000 euros. In order to make electric motoring even more accessible to individual customers in France, the Nissan LEAF is also available through a private finance scheme

Eric Couriant from Nissan Couriant in Aix-en-Provence applied to become a certified EV dealer because he believes "Nissan is making history by bringing sustainable mobility to the mass market and we wanted to be part of it". "Most customers testing the Nissan LEAF are very positively surprised by the performance, the comfort, the roominess and the range of the Nissan LEAF." Mr. Couriant added.

Nissan Couriant in Aix-en-Provence is one of the 14 certified EV dealers (along with Chambourcy, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Marseille, Maurepas, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Nîmes, Paris 12ème , Perpignan, Strasbourg, Toulouse) to sell the Nissan LEAF in France. This list is expected to grow rapidly in the near future.

Deliveries of Nissan LEAF have already begun in the UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal. Order books have also opened in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and Norway with customers in those markets expected to start receiving their cars shortly.

Nissan LEAF recently received a top 5-star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), making it one of the safest cars on the road in Europe.

Nissan LEAF is powered by a compact electric motor in the front of the car, which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. Matching the advanced electric drive technology is the Nissan LEAF's advanced on-board IT and telematics systems called CARWINGS. The system provides continuous information to the driver via a 7'' color touch screen, including battery capacity and range, and provides the location of the nearest charging station.

The car has a range between charges of 175 km as tested over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) making it a practical proposition for many urban drivers. Recharging from empty to 100% can be done in eight hours with a normal charger and in about 30 minutes from empty to 80% using a quick charger under normal conditions.

Nissan in Europe

Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe.

About Nissan

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokahama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.


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