Nissan to market EV in B.C.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Nissan's first "real-world" all-electric car, will be introduced to Canadians in British Columbia under a recently announced partnership agreement.

The Japanese automaker said the Nissan LEAF will be on the road in British Columbia in 2011, prior to more widespread distribution in 2012.

News of the car's introduction was contained in a announcement of a partnership agreement between the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the province, the city of Vancouver and BC Hydro.

Among other things, parties to the agreement will identify opportunities to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles in Vancouver and other areas in B.C.

Discussions will also explore the establishment of charging infrastructure in Vancouver.

"Agreements like this one with the Renault-Nissan Alliance are an important step in making climate-friendly transportation a lifestyle choice for all British Columbians," provincial Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom said in a statement.

"Electric vehicles fuelled by clean, renewable energy resources will help us achieve a low carbon transportation future," Lekstrom added.

The memorandum of understanding brings together representatives from each organization to identify opportunities to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles in Vancouver and other areas in B.C. Discussions will also explore the establishment of charging infrastructure in Vancouver.

"Today is an exciting day for Nissan Canada as we announce an important step in making electric vehicles a reality in the Canadian market," said Mark Grimm, president of Nissan Canada Inc.

"We have the technology for zero-emission mobility without compromise and working with important partners like those signing this agreement is a critical step in this evolution," Grimm said.

Mayor Gregor Robertson said the agreement moves Vancouver closer to its goal of "becoming the world's greenest city."

"We've moved very aggressively to bring in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure regulations for Vancouver that is a first for North America," Robertson said.

Vancouver's goal is to become the world's greenest city by 2020. The city is changing its building and parking bylaws to allow for vehicle charging points and already allows slower-moving electric cars on most streets.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has formed partnerships with 30 governments, cities and other organizations to advance the deployment of electric vehicles worldwide.

Nissan Canada Inc. is the Canadian sales, marketing and distribution subsidiary of Nissan Motor Ltd. and Nissan North America, Inc. It has 150 independent Nissan dealerships and 29 Infiniti retailers across Canada.



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