CHICAGO – August 25, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today joined representatives from Nissan to announce that its zero-emissions, all-electric LEAF will arrive early in Illinois, thanks to the Quinn administration’s targeted green state investments in car-charging technology and strong interest among Illinois consumers. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that Illinois continues its leadership in sustainability and the green economy while protecting consumers.
“Illinois is laying the groundwork for electric vehicles and a more green economy, and our efforts are paying off,” Governor Quinn said. “By investing in electric vehicle technology, both the state of Illinois and Nissan are making transportation in our state more efficient, sustainable and affordable.”
The Nissan LEAF is the first and only 100-percent electric, zero-emission vehicle available on the mass market. Early rollout of the vehicle in Illinois was driven in part by availability of electric vehicle charging stations in the Chicagoland area. Throughout this year, 280 car-charging stations are being installed throughout the metropolitan area thanks to a $1 million investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and an additional $1 million grant secured by the city of Chicago through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program.
“Governor Quinn, Mayor Emanuel and other visionary Chicago-area leaders have paved the way for mass market adoption of electric cars in their community,” Scott Becker, senior vice president, Administration and Finance, Nissan Americas said. “Chicagoland consumers want a transportation solution that uses no gas and produces no emissions, and the introduction of the Nissan LEAF to Illinois makes that a reality.”
Nissan has accelerated the timeline for the LEAF rollout in Illinois due to strong consumer demand spurred by rising gas prices, the spread of charging infrastructure and the availability of state incentives to encourage the adoption of electric and other alternative technology vehicles. In addition to a $7,500 federal tax credit for alternative fuel vehicles, Illinois also offers up to $4,000 in state rebates, making the LEAF an affordable option for consumers.
The LEAF is recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the most efficient car it has ever certified, regardless of fuel, rating a gasoline-equivalent of 99 miles a gallon, with a range of over 100 miles per charge. It was named as the 2011 Eco-Friendly Car of the Year by Cars.com, ranked as the top green car of 2011 by the Kelley Blue Book and was chosen by international journalists as the 2011 World Car of the Year.