Like Chevrolet's limited roll out plans for the Volt, Nissan will be making the Leaf electric car available on a gradual basis in the markets where it thinks it will best fit. On of the first U.S. launch markets for the Leaf will be Hawaii, which is particularly well suited to EV use. After all, how long a road trip can you take on an archipelago in the middle of the Pacific? Even if you do get stranded, how bad can it be in Hawaii?
Because of Hawaii's remote location, it has to rely totally on imports of fossil fuels so it has the highest prices in the nation. At the same time, its tropical latitude makes it well-suited to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Governor Linda Lingle has been a supporter of building out charging networks in the Islands which has helped influence Nissan's decision to offer the EV there early in 2011. We approve.
05.05.2010 , HONOLULU
HAWAI'I SELECTED AS AN EARLY LAUNCH STATE FOR THE NISSAN LEAF ELECTRIC VEHICLE
Due to Hawai'i's strong commitment to clean energy and a recognized leader in the introduction of electric vehicles (EV), Nissan North America, Inc. has selected Hawai'i to be one of its initial launch markets in the U.S. beginning in early 2011.
Nissan and the State of Hawai'i are working towards a partnership to promote the development of an electric vehicle network. As part of the collaboration, Nissan has committed to make the highly anticipated all-electric Nissan LEAF available to Hawai'i consumers.
"We appreciate Nissan's recognition of Hawai'i as a global model for electric vehicles and a leader in clean energy," said Governor Linda Lingle. "The introduction of the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle will build on Hawai'i's progress to end our state's over-reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase our energy security."
"Nissan is looking forward to bringing the all-electric Nissan LEAF to the people of Hawai'i," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. "Through its work in fostering zero-emissions mobility throughout the state, Hawai'i is demonstrating that it is EV-ready. These efforts, along with strong consumer interest, led us to name Hawai'i as an early launch market for the Nissan LEAF."
"In response to strong consumer demand and our commitment to electric vehicle networks, we are pleased that Hawai'i was selected as one of the first launch states," said Theodore Liu, Director, State Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. "As part of the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative's goal of moving towards 70 percent clean energy by 2030, we believe that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles will give consumers more choices and reduce our state's overdependence on fossil fuels."
Nissan earlier announced that the LEAF would have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $32,780. A federal tax credit of $7,500 for which the Nissan LEAF will be fully eligible is available. The lease price for the Nissan LEAF begins at $349 per month.
At $3.50 per gallon, a car that gets 25 miles per gallon has a fuel cost of 14 cents per mile. At $0.23 per kilowatt-hour, the Nissan LEAF has a fuel cost of 5 cents per mile.
"I'm looking forward to these vehicles being available," said Ted Peck, Energy Program Administrator, Hawai'i State Energy Office. "We've been transforming our buildings to be cleaner, more efficient, and renewable. Now we can transform our cars. This is good for consumers and good for our environment."
Interest in the LEAF is so high that Nissan began accepting reservations this month. In the U.S., more than 8,200 people have reserved a Nissan LEAF. Reservations opened to a select group of people who pre-registered on NissanUSA.com before April 20, when early reservations opened. Reservations, which are made through a $99 fully refundable reservation fee, will be open to the general public on May 15.
The Nissan LEAF is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack instead of an internal combustion engine. There are no tailpipe emissions, and the cost of the electricity to charge them is cheaper than a tank of gasoline. For more on the Nissan LEAF visit www.NissanUSA.com.