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On Thursday, Nissan America officials joined Governor Pat Quinn and the city of Chicago in announcing an accelerated Illinois rollout of the Leaf for this fall. Why the hurry up? Well, because the state of Illinois is ready, Leaf-ready.

Back in February, Governor Quinn announced an investment of $1 million to install a "state-of-the-art" charging infrastructure for electric vehicles throughout the Chicagoland area, matching $1 million in Clean Cities grants. When all is said and done, the project will result in a network of 280 charging stations. Additionally, Illinois offers up to $4,000 in rebates for the purchase of electric and alternative technology vehicles – making the Leaf even more affordable to the state's estimated 12.9 million residents.

Working with 350Green, the city of Chicago has spearheaded an aggressive infrastructure rollout that calls for 73 DC quick-charge stations and 207 Level 2 units to be installed at public locations by the end of 2011. Thus far, only 40 of those stations are operational but, when complete, the Chicagoland area will be able to brag about having the U.S.' most extensive plug-in vehicle infrastructure. Perhaps other states, ones that aren't nearly as Leaf-ready, should pay attention to how Nissan responds to an area's level of plug-in readiness. Just as Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, promised in 2010, when he said, "Consumer feedback and market readiness have been key drivers in developing our phased rollout."
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NISSAN LEAF COMING TO CHICAGO THIS FALL

Accelerated timing responds to "visionary" state and municipal initiatives, investments
Today, Nissan Americas officials joined Gov. Pat Quinn and representatives from the City of Chicago to announce the Illinois rollout of the all-electric Nissan LEAF for this fall. Nissan has accelerated the launch of Nissan LEAF in Illinois in response to strong consumer demand and supported by plans that include an extensive electric car charging network in Chicago and surrounding suburbs in the coming year.

"Governor Quinn, Mayor Emmanuel and other visionary Chicago-area leaders have paved the way for mass market adoption of electric cars in their community," said Scott Becker, senior vice president, Administration and Finance, Nissan Americas. "Chicagoland consumers want a transportation solution that uses no gas and produces no emissions, and the introduction of the Nissan LEAF to Illinois makes that a reality."

In February, Gov. Quinn announced an investment of $1 million in capital funding to install state-of-the-art charging infrastructure for electric cars throughout the Chicagoland area, matching an additional $1 million in Clean Cities Grant funding secured by the City of Chicago. In total, the project will result in a network of 280 electric vehicle charging stations. Illinois also offers up to $4,000 in rebates after the purchase of electric and alternative technology vehicles – in addition to the $7,500 federal tax credit – making Nissan LEAF even more affordable to Illinois residents.

"Illinois is laying the groundwork for electric vehicles, and our efforts are paying off," Gov. Quinn said. "By investing in electric vehicle technology, both the State of Illinois and Nissan are making transportation in our state more efficient, sustainable and affordable."

"Nissan's entry into the Chicago market is exactly what the city had in mind when we developed our EV infrastructure plan," said Karen Weigert, Chicago's Chief Sustainability Officer. "With the 40 Level 2 charging stations to date already installed, Chicago is well on its way to having the most robust EV infrastructure in the nation."

The City of Chicago working with 350Green helped spearhead an aggressive EV infrastructure plan that called for 73 DC quick-charging stations and 207 Level 2 stations to be installed at public parking garages, grocery stores, tollway oases, etc. by the end of 2011. Thus far, 40 stations have been installed and, when complete, the system will provide the Chicagoland area with the most extensive infrastructure for electric vehicles in the U.S.

Nissan LEAF

The Nissan LEAF is the first and only 100-percent electric, zero-emission vehicle available to the mass market. Since its launch in December 2010, Nissan has delivered more than 5,000 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles in the United States. The Nissan LEAF currently is available in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas, Oregon and Washington, with Illinois and other additional markets launching later this year. To date, more than 5,000 Nissan LEAFs have been delivered to consumers in the United States, and more than 10,000 globally. Also, more than 350,000 have expressed interest in the Nissan LEAF by signing up for updates, including information on how to purchase and reserve a vehicle, at www.NissanUSA.com.

About Nissan Americas

In the Americas, 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 and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.


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  • 16 Comments
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      "goodoldgorr The volt is a way better buy then the leaf, do not panic and buy everything because car manufacturers are slow to be modern. These silly public rechargers won't be usefull, you be better with a volt for just a little bit more money and you will keep a better resale value." I agree. With the Volt you still can make that 300 mile trip in 6 hours not 3 days (only if you can find a place to charge it on your way).
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fairfireman21
        Your point is very valid, if you need a car to go long distances the Leaf is not the vehicle. But which one is right would really seem to depend on what your needs are (and what you can pay), there's plenty of room for both in the market (if I could, I'd have one of both). If you only have one car or will need to make long range trips - the Volt is the way to go (its also about $7k more for that privilege) and is a good looking car. But if you need a 2nd car, only need 50 miles a day or so then the Leaf becomes an option - costs $7k less, you can put 5 people in it if you need to (the Volt is 4 seats only cause of the pack), Nissan ordering system allows you to get the car for less than MSRP (Volt dealers are often demanding and getting more than MSRP) and you don't have to worry about sending any money to Chavez or our other friends, oil changes or ICE engine transmission issues. Of course News Corp outlets (Fox News, Wall Street Journal etc.) hate both cars, but they really hate the Volt, so that's definitely an incentive for the Chevy (just to give those oil company propaganda outlets the finger).
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to Google Maps and http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/ there isn't a single DC fast charging station in Chicago. As usual, they also disagree about the amount and locations of the level 2 charging stations.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Frankly this rollout by the end of the year, of the charging stations, is amazing. It's also very cool Nissan moved deliveries because the state went full out to put in chargers. Previously Illinois drivers were looking at the end of 2012 / early 2013 for Leaf availability. I just did the Leaf drive tour over the weekend in Chicago that Nissan was putting on - which was a great time.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Im not doing GM pr, im doing my buying bids as usually and to date there is no car that interress me. The car market is outdated, i need a new efficient car at a modern price. The 'new' offerings are just plain stupid old technologies like batteries and ice gasoline generators, this is outdated from the start and just a couple of poor tastes paniking customers are betting on these like prius, leafs and volts. These cars offer less amenuities or cost too much for what they give. Batteries with silly recharging time are a direct insult to intelligence and only a handful of exploited ignorants customers are buying that subsidised by big oil via goverments. Nobody is empty brained enouph to pay a car that need 4 hours recharges time while on the go and that there is no 'public' recharger where they need it. You probably live in the moon or saw too many science fiction films
      Spiffster
      • 3 Years Ago
      No love for Colorado, ever... best EV tax incentives and STILL not a single EV to use em on. WTF is the point. I see charging stations for folks with the highly discounted Tesla Roadsters though, good for them rich bastards. Hey Nissan, Ford, kiss my ass! Sorry, had to vent.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        Yea, funny no one tells how the mpg's in Colorado go down for the exact same reason.
        GR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        Automakers are probably pretty nervous about going into Colorado. I mean, the tax incentives may be great but as most EV owners would probably tell you, hill-climbing is the biggest battery drain. I think automakers don't want to roll out in CO first with the chance that they'll have to deal with a PR nightmare of having a bunch of their cars either getting stranded or having a horrible range...and then Fox News doing some piece about how horrible EVs are. Oh wait, Fox does that already.
          Spiffster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GR
          Should not even produce an EV that cant handle cold weather and hills in the first place. SF has plenty of hills and they have every EV under the sun available. Colorado has no market for EVs because no EVs are available. **** excuse if that's what their excuse is.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's something incorrect about the headline.
      hahiran
      • 3 Years Ago
      We have Leaves here in Phoenix, but no quick-charging stations, and almost no Level 2 stations, except at dealers. It's downright baffling. My wife's work was so excited about her Leaf that they have initiated the process of getting a Level 2 charger installed, so that's a positive, but not sure when all those promised chargers are going to materialize. Despite my complaints, I haven't had range anxiety yet and have only left the Leaf home once so far because I was afraid we might not be able to finish our errands. It's a hell of a car.
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hahiran
        "...I haven't had range anxiety yet and have only left the Leaf home once so far because I was afraid we might not be able to finish our errands." That's range anxiety - just saying.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      The volt is a way better buy then the leaf, do not panic and buy everything because car manufacturers are slow to be modern. These silly public rechargers won't be usefull, you be better with a volt for just a little bit more money and you will keep a better resale value.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Sounding like GM PR rep there although I have to admit I love the Volt the best myself, but you might want to take a look at the charging stations and how they work before passing judgement (they already have these rolled out in California and several other states and are very successful, being used alot, already). They are actually Chargepoint charging stations - a commercial company that has a network of charging stations where they sell the electricity for profit. Here's the key, even for profit electricity is much cheaper than gasoline in your Volt or Prius plug-in - so Volt's use them all the time (in addition to Leaf's) and Prius Plug-ins will definitely use them with their anemic 15 mile ranges. Here's the site for the company. http://www.coulombtech.com/chargepoint.php Here's how it works, you just sign up with Chargepoint, they send you a card, whenever you're out and you want a charge you just drive up, tap your Chargepoint card on the charger, it unlocks the charger and allows you to charge your vehicle while you're doing whatever you're doing and you're billed for the charge you take. Anytime you're using an ICE plug in and your EV range will be out before you get home, you'll save money using one of these to top off or fill up some while you're shopping etc..
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      This isn't accelerated. Nissan previously said nationwide availability by "Fall of 2011". Well, fall of 2011 is almost here.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Actually this is accelerated availability. After Nissan's original promise of Fall of 2011 for the nation, they did a complete backtrack on that pushing back availability for all areas. The last rollout section (called the forgotten 36 states by $100 reservation holders) was pushed back to the opening of Smyrna, TN production (i.e. end of 2012) and Illinois was in the forgotten 36. So this was a big move up in availability for Illinois Leaf reservation holders.
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