Nissan is wasting little time in planning for the release of its recently-announced Leaf electric car. Perhaps the reason details of the car’s U.S. launch were so slim at launch is because Nissan was waiting for the official announcement of the Obama administration’s $2.4 billion investment into electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them, $99.8 million of which has been awarded to eTec, a division of ECOtality that specializes in electric vehicle charging systems.
That sum of money (to be matched by “regional project participants”), will allow eTec to install 2,500 EV charging stations in Tennessee, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and the Phoenix/Tucson region in Arizona. Of course, chargers aren’t any good without any vehicles to plug into them, so Nissan has pledged to support the project with up to 1,000 new Leaf EVs in each of these selected markets.
This announcement puts retail sales of the upcoming Leaf two years ahead of the previously-planned schedule. Nissan hopes to gather information on the charging patterns of these initial 5,000 Leaf owners, so buyers will need to agree to carry an onboard data logger that will be monitored by the automaker and the U.S. Department of Energy. Click past the break for the official press release.
Nissan to begin retail sales of 5,000 Leaf EVs next year in major U.S. markets originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.