Mayor Declares Bay Area "EV" Capital

Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009  |  Updated 6:45 AM PDT
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The 5,000 all-electric, American-built Nissan Leaf's rolling out next year.

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The first major automaker with an all-battery electric car will  make the vehicle available to consumers in San Francisco and the rest of the  Bay Area late next year, Mayor Gavin Newsom's office announced.   

 Newsom made the announcement about the new Nissan Leaf, a  mid-sized zero-emission hatchback, this morning with Nissan Senior Vice  President Brian Carolin.

"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 (electric vehicle) capital," Newsom said in a prepared statement.

Newsom said the car will be available in late 2010 and that other  electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars would enter the market in the next year  or two.

"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," Carolin said.

The company will also work with the nine Bay Area counties and  several cities that belong to the Bay Area EV Corridor Program -- announced  last year by Newsom, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed  -- to promote the use of plug-in vehicles in the region, according to  Newsom's office.

The work will include promoting and developing an electric vehicle  charging infrastructure in the Bay Area, including installation of charging  equipment in customers' homes. The Nissan Leaf will serve as a pilot vehicle  for the process.

According to Newsom's office, San Francisco recently received a $1  million federal appropriation to support electric vehicle initiatives. In addition, two regional grants totaling $750,000 will go toward technical  training and curriculum development.

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