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.
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.