Nissan Announces Dates for US LEAF EV Tour
22 October 2009
The Nissan LEAF all-electric car will make its North American debut in Los Angeles on 13 Nov. The Los Angeles showing will be the first time people in the United States will be able to see the five-passenger, five-door, gasoline-free car, which is embarking on a nationwide tour.
The Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour will make stops in 22 cities, in 11 states, the District of Columbia, and Vancouver, Canada, offering the opportunity for interested drivers, media, civic partners, businesses and university students to learn more about the Nissan LEAF and the benefits of zero-emission driving.
Scheduled stops include:
- Los Angeles: Nov. 13-17
- Orange County: Nov. 18
- San Diego: Nov. 19-21
- Berkeley/Walnut Creek: Nov. 23-24
- San Francisco: Nov. 25-29
- Santa Rosa: Dec. 1
- Sacramento: Dec. 1
- San Jose: Dec. 3-6
- Seattle: Dec. 8-12
- Vancouver, Canada: Dec. 14-15
- Portland, Ore.: Dec. 17-23
- Phoenix/Tucson: Dec. 30-Jan. 5
- Las Vegas: Jan. 6
- Detroit: Jan. 11-13
- Knoxville/Chattanooga, Tenn.: Jan. 16
- Middle Tennessee: Jan. 19-21
- Washington, D.C.: Jan. 26-28
- Raleigh, N.C.: Jan. 29
- Orlando: Feb. 1-2
- Houston: Feb. 5-6
- New York City: Feb. 9-14
Follow the tour, get updates on the final schedule and specific showings, and sign up for more information, at www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car.
I wish these guys a lot of luck. They're the first all BEV to market (since you know what.) I hope they sell a ton!
Posted by: Reel$$ | 22 October 2009 at 03:29 PM
Awesome! I'll be there cheering them on, maybe getting on the wait list too.
Posted by: Mark_BC | 22 October 2009 at 03:32 PM
Why do you say they are already in the market?
What do they cost?
Posted by: ToppaTom | 22 October 2009 at 04:27 PM
Pressure Obama and the government to exercisee Compulsory Licensing over NiMH battery patents
CREATED JULY 2, 2009, AT 12:16 PM BY 2CENTSBOOK
A new website, dcmonitor (dot) com, was just created with the purpose of helping citizens put pressure on the government to exercise either eminent domain or compulsory licensing for the NiMH battery technology currently owned by Chevron. Please show your support by visiting it.
A little backstory (From the book "Two Cents per Mile" by Nevres Cefo):
GM destroyed the GM EV-1, an advanced electric vehicle (EV), as soon as they managed to get the Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Alan Lloyd, to push for the end of the zero-emissions vehicles mandate (ZEV).
Shortly thereafter, GM sold the patents to the incredibly efficient NiMH batteries to ChevronTexaco, who successfully mothballed the large capacity and more powerful models necessary for full electric vehicles.
In the mid-1990s, before Rick Wagoner became CEO, GM acquired the patent rights for the NiMH battery from Ovonics, a company founded by the battery’s inventor, Stanford R. Ovshinsky. This purchase appeared to be a smart investment move in response to California’s 1990 ZEV mandate that forced GM and other automakers to produce zero emission, battery-powered electric cars such as the GM EV-1. But General Motors’Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Card (President George W. Bush’s soon to be Chief of Staff), who had actively opposed electric cars for years, soon revealed GM’s true intentions. On October 10, 2000, GM sold their control of the EV batteries to Texaco. Less than a week later, on October 16, 2000, only days after Texaco acquired control of the batteries, Chevron (formerly Standard Oil of California) bought Texaco in a $100 billion merger. The battery patents are now owned by Cobasys, a company that is 70% controlled by Chevron.
Shortly thereafter, the Toyota-Panasonic EV-95 product line of proven NiMH batteries (still running today in the Toyota RAV4¬EVs) was shut down when Cobasys and Chevron sued Toyota and Panasonic for patent right infringements. Cobasys (Chevron) prevailed to the tune of $30 million—even though Panasonic claimed vital differences in the battery that advanced the thermo-electrical properties, longevity, and performance of the batteries. Although Panasonic had to pay licensing fees to Cobasys as a result of the lawsuit, Cobasys and Chevron have carefully excluded the right to produce batteries capable of powering EVs. Cobasys/Chevron will only make 8-10 Amh batteries available to the public and limits the licensing of hybrid batteries to auto manufacturers, controlling the scale in which improvements are made to this technology and who can use it. Chevron also maintains veto power over any sale or licensing of NiMH technology. In addition, Chevron maintains the right to seize all of Cobasys’ intellectual property rights in the event that ECD Ovonics (Energy Conversion Devices Ovonics) does not fulfill its contractual obligations.
Without access to the more powerful NiMH batteries, Toyota was forced to cancel the production of RAV4-EV vehicles. Unlike GM’s EV-1, Toyota had actually sold the vehicles—not leased them—so they are a living testimony to the incredible technology in this battery. The legacy of this battery cannot be rounded up and crushed in the middle of a desert, as GM did with all its EV-1 vehicles in an effort to hide the successful battery technology in them. Cobasys/Chevron can limit access to new or replacement batteries only. The batteries cannot be sold or imported into the USA, according to one Toyota spokesperson. Only a few used Toyota-Panasonic EV-95 NiMH battery packs, salvaged from crushed vehicles, are available, and those are only for warranty replacements on existing RAV4-EVs. Unfortunately, for Cobasys/ Chevron, the NiMH battery keeps on ticking like an infernal Energizer bunny. With some owners clocking more than 100,000 miles and most with more than a decade of use, hundreds of RAV4¬EVs are still going strong—much to the consternation of GM and the other automakers who contradict this reality with their claims of not having a viable battery.
Posted by: Jerry | 22 October 2009 at 08:22 PM
A little too late, lithium ion batteries have almost caught up. The b*stards got away with stalling EV's by 10 years. The patent will expire in 2014 anyways. It is interesting how you go to the local store to buy a pack of AA rechargeables and it's NiMH you buy, not lithium ion. Why? Because they are better!
Anyways, forcing Chevron to give up its patent rights would help NiMH come to market a little faster so we would be able to buy good EV's for less than $20,000 rather than $30,000 for lithium ion EV's. But that will be happening within 5 years anyways. The end of the oil industry is around the corner. In 5 years most people will by EV's or PHEV's, in 10 years nearly all cars sold will be EV's. Let's say it takes 10 years for most of the existing ICE cars to cycle through to the junkyard (which will be helped along by their owners itching to get rid of them in favour of a new EV), so in 15 years the oil industry will be in serious trouble and in 20 years all they will have left is aviation and trains and other specialized uses. Consumers will have their revenge, the oil industry will be mostly dead in 15 years.
Posted by: Mark_BC | 22 October 2009 at 11:45 PM
Conspiracies. Conspiracies everywhere. Can't you ahem gentlemen ever admit that legislating the first BEV era was just premature.
Technology had not advanced far enough to make the electric car a reasonable choice, then. It is barely viable today. Don't blame GM. No other car company in the world produced a viable BEV then either.
There may be a few of these BEVs still in collectors hands from that era, but no serious proposal to continue making these "before their time BEVs" ever arose from any of the automakers.
Sometimes left wing greens are just plain ****s.
Posted by: Stan Peterson | 23 October 2009 at 12:50 AM
"Technology had not advanced far enough to make the electric car a reasonable choice, then."
Are you serious? They could have been then, and could be now, profitably sold for $20,000 -- a car that goes 140 miles per charge and has batteries that last over 10 years. Alternatively, add a range extending generator to the car for an extra $5000 to give it unlimited range. Why is that not a reasonable choice?
"Don't blame GM. No other car company in the world produced a viable BEV then either."
Of course they didn't -- how could they? Chevron would sue anyone who tried, and force them to stop.
"Sometimes left wing greens are just plain ****s"
How is it "left wing" to expect that consumers should be able to have access to the latest technology available at its fair price? If anything, this is promotion of the free market, not left wing ideology.
Posted by: Mark_BC | 23 October 2009 at 09:56 AM
You really need to look at the way government and private sector has used the patent and national "security" systems to protect their fiefdoms. While it's fair to buy up patents of competitive products - it is essentially an anti-trust action to bury viable technology that could benefit the market.
It is likely that had someone other than Chevron controlled the NiMh large format patent - it would have been implemented in more production autos. Government, likewise sees a need to classify all kinds of research and technology that could be applied to commercial product development. The relative handful of people making these declarations have little or no citizen oversight, since their work is "classified."
Protectionism and secrecy without checks and balances - make a recipe for corruption. Therein everybody loses.
Posted by: sulleny | 24 October 2009 at 04:25 PM
Mark and Sulleny,
You really need to look at the fact that conspiracy theorists simply cannot get over the simple fact that too few people are willing to pay for a NON-cost effective EV. Instead they must demonize various industries.
They claim that “100,000 miles and a decade of use in RAV4¬EVs” contradict the claims of auto makers that they are not viable, they cost too much. Just because Tom Hanks likes it does not mean I will pay $35,000 for it.
They claim that there are “ patents to the incredibly efficient NiMH batteries”. And that RAV4-EV vehicles … are a living testimony to the incredible technology in this battery”.
They then ignore the fact that NO company would ever bury such patents and pass up the opportunity to make billions selling such “incredibly” efficient NiMH battery technology.
Meanwhile, the Prius and most other EVs DO use NiMH batteries that are 15 years more advanced. And none of the multitude of automakers world wide, has yet made a viable EV.
A new, shallow website, dcmonitor.com, claims that “If Big Oil and the Big 3 succeed in transitioning the … system into a hydrogen-based system by 2015, it will be too late to implement the NiMH technology ... By 2015, the entire added infrastructure for the hydrogen-based economy will be in place and it will be too difficult and expensive to revert to an electric car economy.” WHAT? - Absolute drivel.
A $20,000 EV with 140 mi range and a 10 year lifetime would capture the market overnight, anytime; now or in 2015, no matter what (inferior) technology was current.
A MUCH better EV, the Volt (which is a 4 place – not 2, with much better range), will NOT capture the market - because it costs $40,000.
On what facts do they base the idea that EVs could have been then, and could be now, profitably sold for $20,000?
That the EV1 could go 140 miles per charge with batteries that last over 10 years, does NOT mean it is affordable.
I would like to see any instances that show that the government or private sector has used the patent and national "security" systems to bury or keep a viable technology from consumers.
Isn’t it much more mature to assume that the Cobasys technology was not competitive?
Isn’t that quite logical?
Fortunately most of us relinquish our beliefs in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause without requiring proof. It is difficult to disprove most myths, UFOs, Area 51, pyramid power, etc.
Isn’t a 15 year old patent a bit much? What is the basis for this myth ? Some hoax?
When asked, "So it’s your opinion that Cobasys is preventing other people from making it [large format batteries] for that reason?", Stanford Ovshinsky responded "Cobasys is not preventing anybody. Cobasys just needs an infusion of cash."
Think what will happen if Exxon Mobil buys the Scuderi patents – Lord help us.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 24 October 2009 at 08:11 PM
Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
Posted by: Jerry | 24 October 2009 at 08:46 PM
You have to ask WHY Texaco/Chevron would buy battery patents from GM. It is not like they are in the battery business, they are in the OIL business. It is not like they wanted to get into batteries in a BIG way, they did NOT and that is a fact.
Posted by: SJC | 25 October 2009 at 11:18 AM
Don't get me wrong. I see no conspiracy in this battery business. But you have to wonder why no manufacturer has utilized large format NiMh? Toyota says it would have IF the Chevron subsidiary allowed licenses. They did not.
In the late 1800s the Westinghouse and Thomas Houston companies battled Edison Electric over AC vs. DC as the standard for public electric distribution. Clearly AC is more efficient. Edison patents prevented the early adoption of AC. To the detriment of society.
I would tell you about the guvmn't tech secrecy, but... I can't.
Posted by: sulleny | 25 October 2009 at 02:44 PM
Its far more likely all chevron was looking at was the bottom line. Unless the deal was going to make money they werent interested and they finaly sold the entire thing for I assume a profit.
Also before you get all wacky conspiracy remember just digging through all the assets they gained by buying the company likely took thier beancounters and lawyers years.
They likely sold it as soon as they caclualted they would never profit more from it then by selling it off.
Posted by: wintermane2000 | 25 October 2009 at 06:37 PM
Like wintermane said.
“WHY Texaco/Chevron would buy battery patents from GM”
The typical reason, most likely; they thought they were worthwhile and would allow Texaco/Chevron to jump into the lead on batteries.
Apparently they were not - various attempts to provide these large format NiMH ended poorly. It is usually wrong to assign evil motives to the failure of some technology that we do not fully understand.
10 years have passed and no one can yet make affordable batteries.
“But you have to wonder why no manufacturer has utilized large format NiMh?”
Maybe they offer no worthwhile benefit. Don’t SMALLER cell sizes typically provide better power and energy density? What about LARGE FORMAT Li-Ion cells – where are they?
“Toyota says it would have IF the Chevron subsidiary allowed licenses. They did not.”
There may be a real quote out there, somewhere, from Toyota on this, I would like to see it.
In the late 1800s Edison promoted DC (not AC) against Tesla (who had the patent on AC) and Westinghouse as the standard for public electric distribution. Edison lobbied successfully and prevented the adoption of AC until the late 1890s.
The reason I react strongly against these childish myths is that our lawmakers believe all too many now.
Is it any wonder that the US majority doubts global warming?
Posted by: ToppaTom | 25 October 2009 at 08:28 PM
In March 2002, due to a shift in corporate policy, the Toyota RAV4-EV was made available for sale to the general public, but only 328 of them sold. No one knows for certain what prompted Toyota to change their position on the RAV4-EV, since they had long since fulfilled their obligations under the MOA with the California Air Resources Board's zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate via its fleet lease program.
The MSRP was USD 42,000; but in California, ZIP-grant rebates of USD 9,000, decreasing in 2003 to USD 5,000, and a USD 4,000 credit from the Internal Revenue Service brought the price down to a more palatable USD 29,000 (USD 33,000 for some 2003 deliveries), including the home charger.
By November 2002, the 328 RAV4-EV’s Toyota had committed to were sold, yet demand was continuing to build. Toyota was caught off-guard by the extent of the demand because the vehicle's retail buyers had outsold the projections far faster than the vehicles could be supplied to market - despite very little advertising, and very little public awareness of the product.
There was certainly a market for these vehicles, because many GM EV1, Ford Ranger EV and Honda EV Plus drivers had been reluctantly forced to surrender their cars – in some cases to the crusher – and had become disillusioned with the carmakers. Potential buyers were encouraged by the perception that Toyota was finally playing fair.
As it turned out, there were more RAV4-EVs sold than there were cars available. It is noteworthy that Toyota did, in fact, play fair and filled every last order despite the fact that the last few dozen vehicles had to be painstakingly assembled from spare parts due to a shortfall of production components. This unexpected development caused deliveries to trickle on into September 2003. It also caused variations in the vehicles such as heated seats, retractable antennae, mats, etc.
Once the last of the 328 EVs was sold in November 2002, the website disappeared and the EV program was unceremoniously scrapped. No additional cars could be bought because Toyota didn’t have anything to sell. The RAV4-EV was based on the 1996-2000 gasoline powered RAV4, which had become obsolete. Production of additional vehicles would only be possible under one of two different scenarios. The first would be if the RAV4-EV was redesigned to fit the 2003 RAV4, and the second would be if production of the 1996 version was resumed. Toyota claimed that tens of thousands of orders would have been necessary for them to resume or continue production, and development time would have been a major obstacle.
Whether or not Toyota wanted to continue production, it was unlikely to be able to do so because the EV-95 battery was no longer available. Chevron had inherited control of the worldwide patent rights for the NiMH EV-95 battery when it merged with Texaco, which had purchased them from General Motors. Chevron's unit won a USD 30,000,000 settlement from Toyota and Panasonic, and the production line for the large NiMH batteries was closed down and dismantled. This case was settled in the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and not publicised due to a gag order placed on all parties involved. Only smaller NiMH batteries, incapable of powering an electric vehicle or plugging in, are currently allowed by Chevron-Texaco.
So for those seven months in 2002 a full-sized production electric car was available for sale to the general public for the first time in decades. Buying one wasn't easy, however; just one special sales person at only a dozen dealers - and only in California - was authorized to sell the Toyota RAV4-EV. If an individual wasn't already aware of the car, they were generally unable to buy (or even see) one. Many would-be purchasers were steered instead to Toyota's Prius gasoline electric hybrid vehicle, despite having asked about the plug-in car.
This info came from Wikipedia
Posted by: Jerry | 26 October 2009 at 08:42 PM