Due to Hawaii's strong commitment to clean energy and a recognized leader in the introduction of electric vehicles (EV), Nissan North America, Inc. has selected Hawaii to be one of its initial launch markets in the U.S. beginning in early 2011. Reservations for the all-electric battery powered Leaf are being taken. The cost of the vehicle will be about $25,000 after government tax credits and rebates.
Nissan and the State of Hawaii 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 Hawaii consumers.
Nissan Leaf Interior
Image credit: Nissan
"We appreciate Nissan's recognition of Hawaii 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 Hawaii'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 Hawaii," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. "Through its work in fostering zero-emissions mobility throughout the state, Hawaii is demonstrating that it is EV-ready. These efforts, along with strong consumer interest, led us to name Hawaii as an early launch market for the Nissan LEAF."
Nissan Leaf Front View
Image credit: Nissan
"In response to strong consumer demand and our commitment to electric vehicle networks, we are pleased that Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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.
Leaf Rear View
Image credit: Nissan
"I'm looking forward to these vehicles being available," said Ted Peck, Energy Program Administrator, Hawaii 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.
Construction of the Renault-Nissan Alliance's first European plant for the production of advanced lithium-ion batteries began on April 27th in Sunderland, UK.
Toshiyuki Shiga, chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., carried out the groundbreaking ceremony at Nissan's Sunderland car plant to mark the beginning of the £210-million project.
The 25,000m2 facility will be operational in early 2012 with an initial annual production capacity of 60,000 units and will supply batteries for both Nissan and Renault electric vehicles (EVs).
The plant is expected to create 200 new Nissan jobs and a further 600 across the UK supply chain.
The Alliance has previously announced that a second battery facility will be located in Cacia, Portugal and has also announced plans to produce batteries at Renault's Flins plant in France.
Last month, Nissan confirmed that Sunderland will also become a production location for the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle - the world's first affordable mass-produced zero-emission vehicle.
Nissan LEAF will be launched in 2013 on the plant's 'Number 2' production line alongside the recently unveiled JUKE compact crossover car, which enters production in August 2010.
Nissan's Oppama Plant in Japan will be the first plant globally to begin producing LEAF later this year, and will support the car's UK sales launch in early 2011. The Nissan LEAF and advanced lithium-ion batteries will also be produced at Nissan's Smyrna plant in the USA from late 2012.
Nissan is also continuing to invest in a portfolio of low-emission technologies (called PureDrive) such as clean diesels, efficient internal-combustion engines and hybrids.
Speaking at the battery plant groundbreaking ceremony, Shiga commented: "Europe will play a key role in the Alliance's global commitment to offer an emission-free future for road transport, and today marks another important step towards that goal.
"When operational, the battery plants in both Sunderland and Portugal will support the launch of zero-emission electric vehicles across Europe on an unprecedented scale."
Sunderland Plant's battery facility will provide a centrepiece for the North East region in its capacity as a Low Carbon Economic Area*.
In March, Regional Development Agency One North East announced that a National Training Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing will also be established adjacent to Nissan's car plant.
The centre will give learners access to the latest technology and sustainable production methods and Nissan will contribute 'best-practise' skills sharing in lean manufacturing, logistics and maintenance.
*Low Carbon Economic Areas (LCEAs) form part of the Government's Low Carbon Industrial Strategy by aiming to pull together national, local and regional agencies to focus on accelerating the growth of low carbon industries, skills base and supply chain.
The North East LCEA will focus on supporting the transformation of the automotive industry, providing support for innovation, demonstration and skills training.
NISSAN LEAF at a glance:
World's first affordable, mass produced zero emission car
Five-seater C-segment hatchback
Powered by an 80kW electric motor
Charges to 80% of capacity in under 30 minutes (rapid charging)
Real-world range: 160 km (100 miles US LA4 mode)
Top speed of more than 140 km/h (90 mph)
Produced on all-new dedicated EV platform
Sunderland Plant facts:
Established in 1984 (start of production 1986)
Total investment in plant to date: 2.68 billion GBP (2.99 billion euros)
Total volume since start of production: 5.6 million units
Total 2009 volume: 338,000 units
Current workforce: 4,200 employees
UK's largest car producer and exporter
Produced a third of all cars built in the UK in 2009
Current model line-up: Qashqai, Qashqai +2, Note and Micra
Contacts and sources:
Nissan Zero Emission Website: http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com
For more on the Nissan LEAF visit www.NissanUSA.com