Who’s Doing More “Aggressive Work” on Electric Cars – Nissan or San Francisco?

Remember that Tesla Motors corporation? They were the cock of the walk in the electric car world a few years back. Remember? They finally got a bunch of money from the feds, but they’re going to need to hurry. Why? ‘Cause a real car company is going to start to sell a vehicle that people might actually want to own. The new Nissan LEAF coming soon, so that’s disruptive to Tesla’s business model.

Will it actually go 100 miles on a charge? Maybe not at first, in real life, but it’s a start. Nissan too is getting government money, but that’s only after they’ve put a ton of their own hard-earned yen into the LEAF project.   

Nissan had to choose where to sell the first LEAFs (or is the plural LEAVES?) and they chose the bay area and and handful of other places. O.K., maybe our Quimby-esque Mayor hectored them into doing so and that’s the only reason they’ll be selling LEAFs in town, I don’t know. IMO, Nissan is doing the vast majority of heavy lifting here while San Francisco is simply spending a couple mil. we got from the feds. Is that a public-private partnership? It’ll do, I s’pose.

General Motors / Saturn never really had its EV1 / Impact electric vehicle available for lease to rich people (GM just didn’t lease them to all comers – you had to prove to GM you were worthy) in the bay area back in the day because of all our hills – that was a major factor. (The few people that got EV1’s here were always worried about running out of gas, so to speak, causing them to drive at night without the headlights on and/or guide their crippled steeds into bus zones for temporary parking, and later on, DPT towaway. Remember that, G? Good times.) Getting a LEAF will be a much easier affair.

You already know the Nissan Versa. The LEAF will be a swoopier version and, of course, electric powered:


Here it is. The LEAF is a babe-magnet, apparently.


via kosabe

How much will it cost? Don’t know. Should you install a charger station now, while the permits are free? Don’t know. Will this be a popular car in the bay area? Probably.

Anyway, the deets after the jump.


 Today, Mayor Newsom announced on behalf of the Bay Area
Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor program that Nissan has decided to make its
first all-electric vehicle, the LEAF, available to Bay Area consumers
starting next year. The vehicle will be sold in San Francisco and the Bay

“This collaboration stems from Nissan’s recognition of the aggressive work
we are doing to make the San Francisco Bay Area the nation’s EV capital,”
said Mayor Newsom.

Nissan will be the first major automaker with an all-battery electric car
available to consumers, beginning in late 2010, and other EVs and plug-in
hybrid cars will be entering the market in the next year or two.

“We are making every effort to have the infrastructure ready when the
Nissan LEAF arrives, and we are extremely pleased to have Nissan as a
collaborative partner in making that happen,” said Mayor Newsom.

In addition, the car company will work with San Francisco and the region to
promote and develop EV charging infrastructure, including development of a
streamlined process for customer installation of charging equipment in
their homes. The Nissan LEAF will serve as a pilot vehicle for implementing
this streamlined process.

“Nissan is committed to the San Francisco market and is looking forward to
working with the city and others in the partnership to make zero emissions
a reality throughout the Bay Area,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice
president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. “In one year, Nissan
LEAF zero-emission vehicles will be driving on the streets of San

More than half of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the
transportation sector.  Ushering in the use of zero-emission electric
vehicles and clean, energy efficient plug-in hybrids is part of the Bay
Area’s efforts to meet its critically important climate protection goals,
along with promoting greater use of transit, bicycles and other
alternatives to gasoline cars.

One year ago, Mayors Newsom, Reed and Dellums jointly announced their plan
to start a region-wide program to transform the San Francisco Bay Area into
the EV Capital of the U.S. That regional EV initiative, now called the Bay
Area EV Corridor Program, has led to coordinated efforts by public and
private stakeholders throughout the entire region to promote the use of
plug-in vehicles.

“The Bay Area stands at the forefront of the electric vehicle movement,”
said Mayor Dellums. “This regional collaboration is another bold step in
finding ways to transcend our own limited boundaries and joining efforts to
wrestle global warming to the ground. This approach for creating a network
of EV-ready communities in the Bay Area has been embraced enthusiastically
in the region, and will be a key to our success,” said Mayor Dellums.

“This effort to make the Bay Area EV-ready shows the innovation that can
happen when the public and private sectors work together. Our work has
great potential to both protect the environment and create clean tech
jobs,” said Mayor Reed.

Other members of the Bay Area EV Corridor program include: all nine Bay
Area counties and numerous cities; the Association of Bay Area Governments
(ABAG), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and Metropolitan
Transportation Commission (MTC); major business associations such as Bay
Area Council and Silicon Valley Leadership Group; PG&E, EPRI, local
businesses including EV infrastructure companies Better Place and Coulomb
Technologies, auto companies and others.

San Francisco recently received a $1 million federal appropriation to
support EV initiatives, and two regional grants totaling three-quarters
million dollars have been received for EV technical training and curriculum

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