SAN DIEGO - San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Nissan unveiled the first Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle in San Diego, Nov. 19. The visit to SDG&E's headquarters was combined with the showcasing of an electric vehicle charge unit - one of several styles that will be installed as part of the largest transportation electrification project in U.S. history.

Local community leaders and SDG&E employees joined San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Escondido Mayor and Chair of the San Diego Association of Governments Lori Holt Pfeiler as Nissan and infrastructure development officials discussed plans for the roll-out of the Nissan all-electric vehicle and charging infrastructure in San Diego.  The first 1,000 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles will be delivered to fleet operators and select members of the public in late 2010 and reach showroom floors by 2012, according to SDG&E.

Under the partnership, SDG&E is serving as the local San Diego coordinator to help assemble a critical mass of regional electric vehicle fleets that municipalities, universities, the military, the Port of San Diego, private fleets, and others use daily. As part of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent from its vehicle fleet by 2012, SDG&E will be adding 15 Nissan new zero-emission electric vehicles to the utility's current fleet of 200 alternative-fuel vehicles.

SDG&E is collaborating with eTec, the San Diego Regional Clean Fuels Coalition and local organizations to provide the critical mass needed to assess electric vehicle viability, charging infrastructure needs, and customer needs and education. Over the next six months, charging station locations will be identified and initial infrastructure installation begun during the summer of 2010 with final infrastructure in place by spring of 2011.

"Increasing the supply of electric vehicles and creating the infrastructure to better utilize renewable resources fits with SANDAG's overall energy strategy for the region," said Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler, chair of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). "The strategy calls for reducing overall consumption as well as cutting our dependence on foreign oil - electric cars will help us accomplish those goals."