CEO speech at the first North American appearance of LEAF in Los Angels, US

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's a pleasure to join you in Los Angeles to introduce the all-new Nissan LEAF zero-emission car to North America.

LA is an ideal place to promote emission-free transportation and to talk about the need for energy and mobility solutions.

  • As the second-largest city in America*1 , Los Angeles faces growing challenges with urban mobility and quality of life.
  • People in this city are rightly concerned about the number of cars on local roadways and their impact on the environment.
  • People are looking for solutions... and Nissan is ready to respond with a lineup of zero-emission cars, beginning with LEAF.

LEAF is a new paradigm of the car. Its state-of-the-art technology will change our industry - and we're showing it today in United States for the first time.

  • LEAF comfortably five passengers.
  • It has aerodynamic design and is built on a totally new platform.
  • LEAF has quick, responsive acceleration and a driving range of 100 miles.

Some have asked about the difference between HEVs, vehicles with range extenders, and LEAF. The difference is clear: LEAF has no engine, no tailpipe, no fuel tank. As a result, LEAF has zero carbon emissions, zero particles, zero noise - it is quiet and clean, it is totally neutral to the environment.

Charging the LEAF will be convenient and easy.

  • Normal charging in a garage will be the standard practice, with a full charge after eight hours of overnight charging.
  • Another option is quick charging, which would take less than 30 minutes.

LEAF will be affordable and running costs will be very competitive to gasoline-engine vehicles of the same size. We are beginning the LEAF's nationwide tour today, offering a preview of its showroom introduction in late 2010. Following LEAF - the first model in our zero-emission lineup - we will bring to the U.S. an electric version of Nissan's Light Commercial Vehicle, useful for city deliveries... and an Infiniti compact luxury car, a stylish, high-performance four-seater with zero emissions.

LEAF represents a totally new, transformational technology that will change the way people drive, use and power their vehicles. And the time is right for this breakthrough. Today we are seeing stricter environmental regulations and legislation... concerns about global climate change... concerns about the price and availability of crude oil... and concerns about the heavy dependence on oil as the sole commodity used for transportation. We know these challenges... they are factored in Nissan's zero-emission strategy.

With our Alliance partner, Renault, we are taking an approach that is unique in our industry - a comprehensive approach that goes beyond our vehicles alone.
Our vision that includes lithium-ion battery development and lifecycle management... infrastructure support... and collaborative partnerships that educate and engage the public.

  • With Renault, we are the only ones investing in both battery and vehicle production plants to bring a lineup designed for the mass market.
  • We are in control of all the core zero-emission technologies, especially the batteries that are at the heart of electric cars.
  • And we are the only ones signing agreements that build the framework for a successful, large-scale implementation.

We have already signed 33 zero-emission agreements with municipalities and governments around the world, paving the way for mass marketing in 2012. Today, I am pleased to announce our newest agreement, with Reliant Energy, part of NRG Energy, which owns power generating facilities throughout the United States as well as internationally. As one of the nation's largest utilities, Reliant Energy intends to use its expertise to support the development of an energy supply infrastructure for electric vehicles, among other actions. We look forward to working with you and Reliant Energy to take the next steps toward sustainable mobility.

The infrastructure is developing... all-electric cars will be in the U.S. next year... and their arrival is prompting important discussions about the electricity that will power them. Everyone is talking about what the future holds for the auto and energy sectors.
Two weeks ago, President [Barack] Obama announced the largest single energy grid modernization project in U.S. history.*2 In California, grants totaling $203 million have been awarded, including to two cities in Los Angeles County [to Burbank and Glendale].
Smart grids offer the advantage of allowing consumers to leverage off-peak electricity rates... and for utilities to optimize their existing installed capacity. Governments are pushing for a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system... and for more sources of renewable energy. This is good news.

Clean energy coupled with electric cars could deliver a complete zero-emission transportation cycle... and a valuable breakthrough for our environment. The potential for sustainable mobility is truly exciting... and so are the activities we are beginning today.

With new cars - represented by LEAF... with governmental support - represented by the smart grid project and Department of Energy loans we have already received to expand our Tennessee plant to build both batteries and electric cars... and with collaborative partnerships - represented by Reliant Energy... zero-emission mobility is fast becoming a reality. And Nissan is eager to lead the way.
Thank you.

  • *1 Population of more than 4 million in an area covering 469 square miles.
  • *2 As announced on Oct. 27, under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the federal government is making 100 awards totaling $3.4 billion to go to private companies, utilities, cities and other partners who have applied with plans to install smart grid technologies in their area.

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