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DOE Award Supports Largest Single Deployment of EVs and Infrastructure Yet; Up to 5,000 Nissan LEAF EVs in 5 Regions

One of the projects receiving support in the massive $2.4-billion award for advanced battery and electric drive projects from the US Department of Energy (DOE) (earlier post) will result in the largest deployment of an electric vehicle and supporting charging infrastructure yet undertaken.

Lead grant applicant Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, received a $99.8 million award, which will be matched by regional project participants for a combined value of approximately $199.6 million, for installation of approximately 2,500 charging stations in each of five markets: Tennessee, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and the Phoenix/Tucson region. The project will also deploy up to 1,000 Nissan LEAF EVs (earlier post) in each market, for a total EV deployment of up to 5,000 units.

The project will collect and analyze data characterizing vehicle use in diverse topographies and climate conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charging infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charging infrastructure.

To test and analyze electric vehicle usage and charging patterns in a simulated, mature charging environment, the deployment of charging infrastructure will target major population areas.

Nissan appreciates the support of the Department of Energy in helping jumpstart the electrification of the transportation sector. This is a major step in promoting zero-emission mobility in the United States. Nissan is looking forward to partnering with eTec to help make electric cars a reality and to help establish the charging networks in key markets.

—Scott Becker vice president, Legal and General Counsel, Nissan North America

Nissan introduced the LEAF on 2 August. Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles on a city drive cycle (LA4). The Nissan LEAF will launch in the United States in late 2010. US production is planned to begin in late 2012 at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn.

Other demonstration/trial projects in the award. The DOE award funds a number of other plug-in demonstration projects, though no single project has the same scale as the Nissan/eTec project. Projects include:

  • $70 million to Chrysler to develop, validate and deploy 220 plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans
  • $45.4 million to California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to develop a production plug-in hybrid system for Class 2-5 vehicles and to demonstrate a fleet of 378 trucks and shuttle buses.
  • $39.2 million to Navistar to develop and deploy 400 battery electric delivery trucks with a 100-mile range.
  • $30.5 million to GM to demonstrate the Volt EREV, with 125 Volts to electric utilities and 500 Volt EREVs to consumers
  • $30 million to Ford to deploy up to 150 PHEVs, including 130 Escape PHEVs and 20 Ford E450 Van PHEVs
  • $10 million to Smith Electric Vehicles to develop and deploy up to 100 electric commercial vehicles, including the Ampere, Faraday, Step Vans and Newton.

Combined, the awards are supporting the deployment and trial of up to 6,873 plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles.



Seems that Nissan's early commitment to BEVs may be paying off.

Other manufacturers will follow.

DOE's active support is very timely and positive results will follow.


Nissan is not a member of The lobbying group(The AAM)so they are free to go a different way. It appears that the AAM plan is to have their alliance members(Toyota, GM, Ford, Fiat, BMW, etc.) slowly migrate to BEVs by building efficient ICEs, HEVs and then PHEVs. By slowing down the migration, these companies can maximize profits.

Nissan/Renault's CEO is willing to take a chance by leaping over the competition. And, they have a worldwide ready market by signing up with charging spot companies like "Better Place." Well Done Nissan! If the price is within reason, sign me up. I'm tired of smoke and fumes, expensive fuel and auto repairs.


Are you joking?
Early commitment to BEVs ?. What?.

In May,
- GM 1,739 hybrids
- Ford 3,906 hybrids
- Toyota 14,846 hybrids
- Honda 17626 hybrids
- Nissan 345 Altima hybrids.

This is insanity.

Wait, this is a plot. Big Oil and GM bribed the DOE to scare the he11 out of us, aghast at what idiotic things big government can do. Oops GM people are now little green men.

“It appears that the AAM plan is to have their alliance members(Toyota, GM, Ford, Fiat, BMW, etc.) slowly migrate to BEVs by building efficient ICEs, HEVs and then PHEVs. By slowing down the migration, these companies can maximize profits.”

You ARE joking; if you really believed this you would not yet learned how to spell car.

I dare someone to (even half way rationally) defend either of these 2 positions.


Even with initiatives like this, the US is unlikely to be an area where EV's reach a relatively high market penetration soon.
Compare it, say, with London in England.
Gas costs around $6.50 US gallon, you have to pay a £5daily congestion charge which is waived for EV's, 220volts is standard making for fast charging, average distances driven are relatively low and the climate is not extreme so you don't use so much of the power on air con, or suffer poor battery performance in cold weather.
France, with surpluses of cheap nuclear power at night may be in an even stronger position.
Nissan has said that it hopes to sell the car at a comparable price to ICE cars, and lease the battery at a low enough rate so that it works out with the electricity cheaper than buying the petrol.
You could hit those targets in London and still charge a profitable £2k annually for the battery.
The factories in the UK and Portugal should have no problem selling their 120,000 output, getting some serious volume and enabling cost reductions.
The far east should do equally well.
I doubt that volume sales in the US will do nearly as well.

Pao Chi Pien

The existing automotive engines are designed by try and error without applying the thermodynamic principle. When thermodynamics is properly applied, a new automotive engine can be designed to achieve the maximum possible fuel efficiency with minimum emissions. It is illogical to give up the internal combustion engine simply because no good one has yet been developed.


Yes DM, there is nothing like a good squeeze on the pocketbook to convince the hardcore (even TT) that low efficiency oversize ICE vehicles have to be replaced with more efficient, lighter electrified units.

TT, you are certainly aware that Nissan-Renault is about the only major who is commited to BEVs mass production (including batteries) but you seem to have elected to ignore it so that you dont have to go thru an attitude change.

There is a progressive improvement in e-storage units performance. Cost will go down even faster when mass produced in many countries. Sometime between 2015 and 2020 e-storage units energy density could reach 500+ Wh/Kg and cost as little as $100 to $200/KWh. A 50 Kwh unit would not weight more than 100 Kg (less than one USA passenger) and cost around $7500 and under $5K in China or India.

Larger BEVs for the USA market will require 100+ KWh storage units and will cost more than the rest of the world. Its a question of weight to cost ratio + our acquired crave for oversized vehicles.

We dont have to worry much about the extra electricity required. A recent study concluded that in a highly electrified nation, replacing 25% of their ICE vehicles with BEVs or PHEVs would only increase total e-energy consumption by 2%. With night time charging, it would not even be noticed.

Our large Hydro Co. has offered to foot the bill (up to $3B) to electrify 300+ Km of suburban train rails. The initial electrification cost would be recuperated over 20-25 years via the sale of electricity at a slightly higher rate but still much cheaper than current and future cost for diesel. There are no loosers. The passengers, operators, people living close to the rail lines, Hydro, local and provincial economies etc all win. Electrification is rarely or never negative.


If anyone thinks that the outrageous tax on gasoline and congestion charges in Britain are not going to be substituted with another outrageous tax rip off when everyone switches to EVs you're clearly smoking something.

Once politicians have invented an income stream they aren't about to give it up simply because of a change in circumstances. They are no better than drug addicts.


"Oops GM people are now little green men."

It ain't called the "green" machine for nothin'


Byline: Harry Stoffer

Fred Webber says he won't change things much now that he is the permanent head of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. But there's one notable exception.

Webber says he will step up efforts to expand the membership of automakers' main Washington lobby. He confirms that Hyundai Motor America and Nissan North America Inc. are the principal targets, calling the Asian companies "critical components'' of the U.S. industry.


Rumors are that the Nissan Leaf BEV will be priced half way between a well equipped Sentra and Altima or about $24K to $26K USD.

Almost 50% of the total price is for the battery pack.

Price will change when batteries price come down in 3 or 4 years.

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