SDG&E and Nissan unveil zero-emission, all-electric vehicle in San Diego


Debra L. Reed,
President & CEO,
|San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 24, 2009 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Nissan have unveiled the first Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all electric vehicle in San Diego, as well as one of several styles of an electric vehicle charge unit that will be installed in the area.

In March, SDG&E announced that San Diego County would become one of the nation’s first “plug-in” ready regions capable of supporting new all-electric vehicles through its partnership with Nissan Motor Co. and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

In August, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $99.8 million to Electric Transportation Engineering Corp (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., to implement an ambitious transportation electrification project in five markets, including San Diego. The California Energy Commission also awarded eTec $8 million to support the infrastructure deployment in San Diego. With the two grants, eTec, with support from SDG&E and others, will deploy up to 2,250 charging stations, helping to position the San Diego region as the nationwide leader in electric vehicle infrastructure.

SDG&E and Nissan will accelerate the transition to all-electric vehicle fleets by studying ways to invest in the necessary charging infrastructure these cars utilize. 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. The public-private collaborative will work to further develop and fine-tune the charging infrastructure, which is the critical link in making the vehicles commercially viable.

Integrating electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure is a key component of SDG&E’s smart grid initiative.

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.

“As the region becomes a pioneer launch site for these advanced vehicles and the charging infrastructure, San Diego will continue on its course to become ‘plug-in ready’ and a national center for clean technology, fostering less dependence on fossil fuels, new ‘green’ jobs and a healthier environment,” said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E.  

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.

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.