Due to Hawaii's strong commitment to clean energy and a recognized leader in the introduction of electric vehicles (EV), Nissan North America Inc. has selected Hawaii to be one of its initial launch markets in the U.S. beginning in early 2011.

Nissan and the State of Hawaii are working towards a partnership to promote the development of an electric vehicle network. As part of the collaboration, Nissan has committed to make the highly anticipated all-electric Nissan LEAF available to Hawaii consumers.

"We appreciate Nissan's recognition of Hawaii as a global model for electric vehicles and a leader in clean energy," said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. "The introduction of the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle will build on Hawaii's progress to end our state's over-reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase our energy security."

"Nissan is looking forward to bringing the all-electric Nissan LEAF to the people of Hawaii," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America. "Through its work in fostering zero-emissions mobility throughout the state, Hawaii is demonstrating that it is EV-ready. These efforts, along with strong consumer interest, led us to name Hawaii as an early launch market for the Nissan LEAF."

"In response to strong consumer demand and our commitment to electric vehicle networks, we are pleased that Hawaii was selected as one of the first launch states," said Theodore Liu, director, State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. "As part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative's goal of moving towards 70 percent clean energy by 2030, we believe that the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles will give consumers more choices and reduce our state's overdependence on fossil fuels."

Nissan earlier announced that the LEAF would have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $32,780. A federal tax credit of $7,500 for which the Nissan LEAF will be fully eligible is available. The lease price for the Nissan LEAF begins at $349 per month.

At $3.50 per gallon, a car that gets 25 miles per gallon has a fuel cost of 14 cents per mile.
At $0.23 per kilowatt-hour, the Nissan LEAF has a fuel cost of 5 cents per mile.

"I'm looking forward to these vehicles being available," said Ted Peck, energy program administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office. "We've been transforming our buildings to be cleaner, more efficient, and renewable. Now we can transform our cars. This is good for consumers and good for our environment."

Interest in the LEAF is so high that Nissan began accepting reservations this month. In the U.S., more than 8,200 people have reserved a Nissan LEAF. Reservations opened to a select group of people who pre-registered on NissanUSA.com before April 20, when early reservations opened. Reservations, which are made through a $99 fully refundable reservation fee, will be open to the general public on May 15.

The Nissan LEAF is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack instead of an internal combustion engine. There are no tailpipe emissions, and the cost of the electricity to charge them is cheaper than a tank of gasoline.