FRANKLIN, TN - Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) recently brought sustainable mobility to several states with the arrival of the first all-electric Nissan LEAFs. The deliveries represent the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car to customers in Washington, California, Arizona, and Oregon.
These areas are primary launch markets for the Nissan LEAF, and are also participants in The EV Project, a research and charging infrastructure deployment project funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by electric-vehicle charging company ECOtality.
The recipients of these first vehicles include:
Washington: Jennifer Steele and Jonathan Hoekstra took delivery of their red Nissan LEAF SL at Stadium Nissan. Hoekstra is a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy. Steele is a small business owner. Hoekstra and Steele are customers of Seattle City Light, the first electric utility in the country to become carbon neutral. Since 2005, Seattle City Light has achieved annual net carbon neutral carbon dioxide emissions.
Arizona: Amir Seif of Phoenix took delivery of his blue Nissan LEAF SL at ABC Nissan. Seif, 51, was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Arizona 32 years ago. He received a PhD in BioEngineering from Arizona State University. Married with four children, Seif is the inventor of LiteGait and founder of Tempe-based Mobility Research, a role that has him traveling extensively, lecturing to physical therapists at rehabilitation facilities.
Northern California: Olivier Chalouhi, a San Francisco Bay Area resident and the first person in the United States to place a Nissan LEAF order, took delivery of his black Nissan LEAF SL at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma. Chalouhi, a 31-year-old entrepreneur, is the founder of Fanhattan, a venture-backed stealth start-up in the connected TV space, where he serves as chief technology officer. He currently lives in Redwood City, Calif, with his wife, Jana, and their two children and holds a master's degree in computer science from the French Aeronautical and Space School. Before purchasing his Nissan LEAF, Chalouhi commuted to work on an electric bicycle.
Southern California: Thomas Franklin, a patent attorney with a specialization in clean energy, received his blue Nissan LEAF SL at Mossy Nissan Kearny Mesa. Franklin, 43, is a native of San Diego who lives in the Village of La Jolla with his wife and three children. He is a partner who practices as a patent attorney in the San Diego office of Townsend and Townsend and Crew. He studied much of the technology in the Nissan LEAF as an electrical engineering student at San Diego State University before attending law school at University of San Diego. Today, many of his patent clients are innovators in the clean tech industry.
Oregon: John Duncan took delivery of his silver Nissan LEAF SL at Tonkin Wilsonville Nissan. Duncan, 61, is a semi-retired college teacher living in Wilsonville with his wife and two sons. Duncan's family has lived in Oregon for four generations, mostly in Eugene. He was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Oregon, where his grandfather once served as a dean.
The initial Nissan LEAF deliveries will be followed by a second shipment of Nissan LEAF electric cars scheduled to arrive before the end of this month. Nissan is on track for a nationwide launch of the Nissan LEAF by 2012, with Hawaii and Texas next to roll out in early 2011. In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.