NEW YORK, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Tour culminated today with an appearance in New York City. The three-month tour, which made 63 stops in 24 cities, offered the opportunity for interested drivers, media, civic partners, businesses and university students to learn more about the Nissan LEAF and the benefits of zero-emission driving.
The tour helped pave the way for the 2010 introduction of Nissan LEAF, the world's first all-electric, zero-emission car designed for the mass market, and leads up to the start of the vehicle-purchase process. The Nissan LEAF will be available to consumers via lease or sale, in a single transaction that includes the battery. Steps to acquiring a Nissan LEAF are:
- REGISTER: Interested people can register for more information about the Nissan LEAF on www.NissanUSA.com. To date, close to 50,000 people have registered on the website. Registrants will be given first priority to reserve a Nissan LEAF.
- RESERVE: The reservation process will begin in April, shortly after the announcement of the price of the Nissan LEAF. Upon paying a fully refundable $100 reservation fee, registrants will be among the first in line able to order a Nissan LEAF.
- ORDER: Nissan will begin taking firm orders in August, for deliveries when sales begin in the driver's particular market.
- EARLY DELIVERIES: Rollout begins in select markets in December 2010, with vehicles available in all major launch markets quickly thereafter.
"The Nissan LEAF purchase process is effortless, transparent and accessible, offering value with a one-stop-shop approach for everything related to the car, including the assessment, permitting and installation of in-home battery charging units," said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas. "We want everyone to feel good about having a car that is affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment."
Coinciding with this next phase of the Nissan LEAF launch is the debut of Nissan's initial global marketing campaign, which is called "The New Car." A first look at the campaign – which illustrates Nissan's passion about the potential for zero-emission mobility and a better, cleaner world – was shown in New York as part of the culmination of the Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Tour.
The Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Tour covered 10,000 miles in the United States and Canada, providing the first opportunity for more than 100,000 people to see and learn about the Nissan LEAF first hand.
"There was a groundswell of grassroots support from coast to coast," said Tavares. "Everywhere we went, people recognized a new form of mobility – a turning point – and they wanted to be a part of it. The response was spontaneous and diverse. We were joined by mayors and government officials, CEOs, utility partners, car enthusiasts, students, dealers, media, environmentalists, Twitter users and lots of families."
- Diverse tour stops, stretching from Stanford University to the Kennedy Space Center. Other stops included: Phoenix on New Year's Eve, in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl; Qwest Field in Seattle; the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland; and a charging-station-equipped McDonald's in Cary, N.C. The tour also stopped at Nissan Americas in Franklin, Tenn; the Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing facility where the Nissan LEAF will be built starting in 2012; and Nissan Design Americas in San Diego. New York area stops include Madison Square Garden (Feb. 10), and upcoming public displays at the Time Warner Center (Feb. 12) and the Liberty Science Center (Feb. 13).
- Due to the high level of interest, Atlanta and Boston were added to the original tour schedule, bringing total cities to 24.
- Nearly 50,000 people have registered to receive information and learn more about the Nissan LEAF on www.NissanUSA.com as a result of the tour. Signing up online is the first step in the reservation and purchase process.
- Already, the Nissan LEAF has received more than 10 media and environmental awards, including the Green Car Vision Award, presented at the Washington Auto Show by Green Car Journal.
- The announcement of the closing of Nissan's loan with the U.S. Department of Energy. The $1.4 billion loan will fund the modification of Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan LEAF and batteries to power it. Groundbreaking for the new battery plant will take place in May.
- The announcement of a joint commitment with Hertz, the world's largest general market rental brand, to bring zero-emission mobility car rental to the United States and Europe in 2011. Hertz is developing a rollout of the Nissan LEAF at select rental sites in both major markets.
- Nissan announced that AeroVironment will supply and install home charging stations for the Nissan LEAF, creating a one-stop shop for the Nissan LEAF and its charging equipment.
- The tour reached all markets that are part of The EV Project, the world's largest EV infrastructure deployment ever undertaken. The EV Project, funded by a $98 million grant from the Department of Energy and led by EV infrastructure provider eTec, a division of Ecotality, will provide an unprecedented number (6,510) of public charging stations across the 5 participating markets and will provide home charging stations for up to 4700 Nissan Leafs sold in those markets. The public stations will include both Level 2 (240V) and Level 3 DC fast chargers. The EV Project markets are Seattle, Oregon, Tennessee (Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga), Phoenix/Tucson, Ariz., and San Diego.
- The tour also served as the backdrop to announce newly established partnerships with Reliant Energy of Houston; the City of Orlando and the Orlando Utilities Commission; the City of Houston; and the State of Massachusetts. These agreements, like three dozen others globally, are designed to promote the development of an electric-vehicle charging network and policies to support the widespread adoption of electric cars.
- Existing partnerships furthered progress, taking steps like securing letters of intent for vehicle fleet purchases and the formation of working groups and task forces to foster the development of the electric-vehicle infrastructure, such as Oregon's Governor's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group. In North America, Nissan has spearheaded a holistic approach to zero-emission mobility by working with states, municipalities, utility companies and other partners, to prepare markets and infrastructure. Nissan has formed 18 partnerships in the United States, in areas including State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County, San Diego and San Francisco in California, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Washington D.C., Seattle, with the City of Orlando and Orlando Utilities Commission, with Progress Energy in Raleigh, N.C., with the City of Houston and Houston-based Reliant Energy, with the State of Massachusetts. Nissan also has formed partnerships with Mexico City and Vancouver, Canada.
Nissan, along with alliance partner Renault, is the only automaker committed to making all-electric vehicles available to the mass market on a global scale.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car.
SOURCE Nissan North America