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Nissan LEAF to make an appearance in five test markets late next year

Just a few days ago, Nissan revealed the LEAF electric vehicle to the public. The 5-door hatchback looks relatively conventional and Nissan promises that the vehicle will be "affordable" when it hits the streets.

Yesterday, Nissan announced that the LEAF will be released in limited numbers next year in the United States. According to Nissan, 5,000 LEAFs will be spread evenly through five markets: Oregon, Phoenix/Tuscon, San Diego, Seattle, and Tennessee.

Nissan credits the recent announcement of $2.4B in federals grants for battery development for its relatively quick time-to-market plans for the LEAF. Nissan will be partnering with eTec, a company which provides charging stations for EVs, to help provide the infrastructure to support vehicles like the LEAF. ETec received nearly $100 million of the $2.4B grant.

"Nissan appreciates the support of the Department of Energy in helping jumpstart the electrification of the transportation sector," said Nissan of North America's Scott Becker. "This is a major step in promoting zero-emission mobility in the United States. Nissan is looking forward to partnering with eTec to help make electric cars a reality and to help establish the charging networks in key markets."

Nissan's LEAF can travel 100 miles on a single charge and reach a top speed of 87 mph thanks to its lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors.

The first 5,000 LEAF EVs to reach the American market late next year will be made in Japan. Nissan plans to start building the LEAF in its Tennessee plant in 2012.

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By Spuke on 8/10/2009 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
For those long trips, I would suggest taking the bus, or flying.
There is no bus where I live. The closet one is a 45 minute DRIVE and would require someone to pick me up (driving) at the other end (if I were going to Phoenix). A lot of places I visit have no bus service and require a car to get there. Unless you live in a large metropolitan area AND never go outside that area, public transportation in the US is either non-existent or it sucks or it's too expensive compared to driving. Occasionally, I fly if I need to maximize time or if it's just too far (over 500 miles).

There is a train station (local) about 20 minutes away. It only goes to certain destinations so I can't take it everywhere but it does allow connections with other trains. It's not cheap and the hours are limited so we use it more for fun than anything but some people do use it for commuting (does save time during rush hour).

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