Electric Vehicles, Renewable Energy

SDGE, Nissan unveil plug in electric vehicle in San Diego

San Diego, November 20, 2009 — San Diego Gas and Electric and Nissan unveiled the first Nissan Leaf zero-emission, all-electric vehicle in San Diego.

The visit to SDGE’s headquarters was combined with the showcasing of an electric vehicle charge unit — one of several styles that will be installed as part of a transportation electrification project.

In March, SDGE announced that San Diego County would become one of the nation’s first plug-in ready regions capable of supporting new all-electric vehicles with its landmark partnership with Nissan Motor Co. and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

In August, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $99.8 million to Electric Transportation Engineering Corp, a unit of ECOtality, to implement a transportation electrification project in five markets, including San Diego.

The California Energy Commission also awarded eTec $8 million to support the infrastructure deployment in San Diego. With the two grants, eTec, with support from SDGE and others, will deploy up to 2,250 charging stations, helping to position the San Diego region as a leader in electric vehicle infrastructure.

The first 1,000 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles will be delivered to fleet operators and select members of the public in late 2010 and reach showroom floors by 2012.

As President Barack Obama pushes energy independence by creating opportunities for renewable energy vehicles, SDGE and Nissan will accelerate the transition to all-electric vehicle fleets by studying ways to invest in the necessary charging infrastructure these cars utilize.

Under the partnership, SDGE is serving as the local San Diego coordinator to help assemble a critical mass of regional electric vehicle fleets that municipalities, universities, the military, the Port of San Diego, private fleets and others use daily.

The public-private collaborative will work to further develop and fine-tune the charging infrastructure, which is the critical link in making the vehicles commercially viable.

Integrating electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure is a key component of SDGE’s smart grid initiative, which is meant to give customers more information about their energy usage, reduce outages, and better manage distributed renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy.

As part of its commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 15 percent from its vehicle fleet by 2012, SDGE will be adding 15 Nissan new zero-emission electric vehicles to the utility’s current fleet of 200 alternative-fuel vehicles.

In late 2010, Nissan will begin delivering to fleet operators and select members of the public the Leaf, a zero-emission, all-electric five-passenger, compact vehicle capable of achieving 100 miles on a single charge.

Charging of the advanced lithium-ion battery is expected to take eight hours with a 220-volt line and also will be capable of charging through a standard 120-volt outlet. The vehicle may be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.