Seattle Gets Green with the Nissan Leaf
When Federal support to green cities by supporting electric zero-emission vehicles was offered by The EV Project, Seattle was quick to seize the opportunity and Nissan, excited to debut its electric coupe, the Nissan Leaf, has moved to supply that practical demand.
As the Emerald City, Seattle has made sure it shone at the forefront of environmentalism since the beginning. It was one of the first cities to showcase metro-wide recycling efforts and to explore reducing the emissions of its public transportation. But it has not been immune from concerns over whether electric vehicles could be supported for its average resident to fit into their lifestyle. The EV Project, launched in October 2009 and set to “change the infrastructure” of cities across the United States, was Seattle’s opportunity to lay the groundwork for a zero-emission future.
The EV Project has not disappointed Seattle. 2,500 charging stations are to be deployed throughout Seattle-Tacoma metro by the end of this year. Numerous high-profile “test drives” are also planned, where auto manufacturers dedicated to electric vehicle projects will be showcasing their zero-emission models. Many auto makers have had to play catch-up to answer the demand of the market and the preparations for cities, especially North American makers like Chevy. Nissan is one of the manufacturers prepared for this trend—their new electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf five-passenger coupe, is the product of lithium ion battery research ongoing since 1992.
Seattle and Nissan have a lot more to do than research and roadwork, though. Reluctance to explore the electric-vehicle by the American market isn’t just because cities aren’t prepared, but suspicion over whether electric cars will be as unusual to the average American lifestyle as they are to the American landscape. Nissan is confident it can meet this concern and has stated it designed the Leaf for “everyday” driving. What this means is that the Leaf was specially modeled to the average American driving style—a top speed of 140 mph, driving distance of 100 miles and five passenger capacity.
So it is zero-emission car designs like the Nissan Leaf that feed Seattle’s confidence in the investment of The EV Project. With a massive road network that varies from the streets of Puget Sound to the rural areas to the east and south, Seattle metro has diverse driving demands. The Nissan Leaf has planned for those. It also offers the kind of daily features—GPS, iTune capability and family style trunk space—that Seattle drivers will surely demand from a modern coupe. The EV Project and Seattle know they have high marks to hit when it comes to both accommodating the modern lifestyle and establishing a zero-emissions future. It is cars like the Nissan Leaf, specially crafted to hit that mark, that could make the difference.
Embracing the environment, the Seattle population could be seen as a warm market for electric vehicles. With all the preparation by the public sector and the private auto makers, success still depends on Americans having the right pro-environment spirit. With residents as green as they come, Seattle is eager for the debut of the Leaf.