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Monday, August 17, 2009
2011 Nissan LEAF - U.S. DOE
Image: © 2009 Nissan Motor Co.

1000 Nissan LEAF Electric Cars To Be Tested In The United States

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week (Aug 5, 2009) that they would be sponsoring the testing of electric cars and the associated electric car charging infrastructures in five select U.S. markets - Tennessee, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle, and the Phoenix/Tucson region. Nissan North America will be part of the Department of Energy test program by supplying up to 1000 of their new 2011 Nissan LEAF electric cars for the study (see photo).

The United States DOE's electric car infrastructure program will take the form of a grant in the amount of $99.8 million and this has been awarded to eTec, Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (OTCBB Symbol: ETLY), headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. The regional project participants are expected to match the U.S. DOE grant amount to create a total project value of $199.6 million. 

Nissan Motor Co. had their worldwide introduction of the 2011 Nissan LEAF electric car on August 2, 2009. The LEAF will become available for lease to select global customers by the end of 2010. Nissan recently indicated that by late 2012 they will start production of the LEAF in the United States at their manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee.   The Nissan LEAF is a five passenger electric car that is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. The Nissan LEAF has a range of 100 miles (160 km) off of a full charge, and can be charge overnight or in 30 minutes (80% charge) off a high amperage commercial quick charger.

The U.S. DOE has selected the five initial test regions to accelerate an analysis study of the impact that topography, climate conditions, and charging infrastructure have on the deployment of electric cars in the United States. It is expected that other automotive companies will also join this study in due course. 

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