The first ever customer to receive Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf electric car is scheduled to receive it on Saturday. The black Leaf SL hatchback is set to be delivered to 31-year-old Olivier Chalouhi at a dealership in Petaluma, Calif. Nissan aims to be the world's top seller of electric vehicles and to achieve this goal, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and affiliate Renault SA of France, targets sales of at least 500,000 battery cars worldwide in the next few years.
Ghosn estimates that by 2020, electric cars may make up about 10% of global auto sales. So far, Nissan has recorded about 20,000 Leaf reservations. Delivery of these cars will be made over at least the next year. Last month, Brian Carolin, Nissan's U.S. sales chief, declined to say how soon the company will be able to fill those initial orders.
When Nissan rolled out the first units of the revolutionary Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, the first place the EV went to was San Francisco in California. The Bay Area in Southern California became one of the first markets that the Nissan LEAF rolled out to, together with places in the states of Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.
This apparently was in line with San Francisco’s commitment to establish the Bay Area as a significant market for the new EV from Nissan. According to San Francisco Mayor Gawin Newsom, it is of great pride that one of the city’s residents was the first to receive a Nissan LEAF.
Newsom then added that the delivery of the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to the Bay Area marks a milestone in the city’s commitment to encouraging consumers to buy electric vehicles instead of conventional gasoline-powered cars, in an effort to become more environmentally friendly.
To commemorate the delivery of the Nissan LEAF to a Bay Area resident, a week of festivities was launched in the Bay Area. For its part, Nissan made a $25,000 donation to the World Wildlife Fund. As part of its commitment to establish a sustainable market for the Nissan LEAF and other future EVs, Nissan went the extra mile to not just create EVs but also to collaborate with local, regional and state government units for that goal.
Through these partnerships, Nissan hopes to establish a sustainable and viable architecture that will make charging technology easily available to future owners of electric vehicles. In addition to the local, state and regional government partners, Nissan also allied itself with the U.S. Department of Energy and AeroVironment Inc.
The DoE has provided a grant for Nissan and its partners to work on the EV Project, which aims to research and develop the charging infrastructure needed to support the budding EV market.
On the other hand, Aerovironment Inc. will provide the home charging systems for future LEAF owners.
Nissan Americas’ chairman, Carlos Tavares, announced that, with the Nissan LEAF, drivers now have the option of not putting up with long lines at the gasoline stations and not having to be burdened with the fact that their cars are emitting carbon monoxide into the air.
Tavares promised “thousands” of other opportunities coming to drivers, and states that this is just the first step of bringing sustainable forms of transportation to the public.