A team of technologists from Nissan North America, Dallas, and the State of Hawaii recently announced a partnership to advance zero-emission mobility by promoting the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and an EV-charging network, throughout the state. The partnership, which was announced at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo in Honolulu, marks Nissan's first definitive agreement in the United States and will help to foster the adoption of EV technology. The Nissan Leaf, a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle for the mass market, will be available in Hawaii beginning in January 2011.

"Nissan is a global leader in EVs, and the state of Hawaii has shown similar leadership through its progressive policies and focus on clean energy," says Brian Carolin, senior VP, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. "Hawaii's drivers share that commitment, as demonstrated by their strong interest in the Nissan Leaf, the first affordable, zero-emission vehicle, which arrives in Hawaii in January."

Hawaii has demonstrated policy leadership through the creation of a $4,500 state tax credit toward the purchase of an electric vehicle and a $500 state tax credit towards the purchase and installation of a home charging station. The state tax credit, paired with an available $7,500 federal tax credit, could bring the price of a Nissan Leaf, which carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $32,780, to as low as $20,780 for Hawaiin consumers.

As part of the agreement, Nissan and the State of Hawaii will develop plans to promote a charging infrastructure for EVs, as well as the deployment, operation, and maintenance of a charging network. The partners also will work to coordinate the establishment of policies and help streamline the deployment of an EV infrastructure. Nissan is committing to bringing a supply of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles to Hawaii and readying the dealer body to sell and lease them to consumers.

"I appreciate Nissan's confidence in Hawaii and recognition of our commitment to pursuing a clean energy future," says Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. "By bringing the Nissan Leaf to Hawaii and working collaboratively with the state and our partners toward the electrification of transportation, Nissan is playing an important role in helping us achieve the goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil."

"This partnership personifies Hawaii's commitment to a future powered by clean, sustainable sources of energy. In order to change the energy consumption patterns of our population, we have to offer drivers alternatives to vehicles that rely on imported fossil fuels," said Senator Daniel K. Inouye. "More than 90 percent of the fuel and energy we consume in Hawaii is the product of imported oil. Given our unique access to clean, renewable, energy sources, Hawaii should serve as a model of what is possible when government and business collaborate to plan a path forward into an energy efficient future."