Watch the Nissan Leaf Worldwide launch with remarks from Nissan Americas Chairman, Carlos Tavares, BACC Director Rafael Reyes, Air Quality Management District CEO Jack Broadbent and San Francisco Director of the Environment Melanie Nutter.
Updated: Remarks by Bay Area Climate Collaborative Director, Rafael Reyes
If we had walked these streets 100 years ago we'd see horses, trolleys, and of course, cars. All kinds of cars. Chain drive cars, shaft drive cars, ones with tillers, ones with steering wheels. Gas powered, electric powered, even some steam. It was a time of innovation. But in the 100 years since we have innovated only at the margins in personal transport.
Today Nissan brings a renewed burst of innovation to our streets which will transform how people move. An advanced affordable vehicle that is not only fun to drive but costs less to fuel and operate. And not a moment too soon.
Just last month the International Energy Agency stated that the world has reached its maximum production of petroleum from existing and even undiscovered oil fields. Economic consequences lie ahead.
Nissan has given us a better way to power transportation. We don’t have to send $350 billion to unfriendly countries for increasingly costly supplies of oil. We can invest that at home to innovate and create jobs. And we can safeguard our resources. We can have clean air and a clean atmosphere.
It’s fitting that the launch of this landmark vehicle is here. Unprecedented collaboration by local and regional governments, business and non-profits is making the Bay Area the EV Capital of America. In October as one example, the region announced a series of game-changing EV projects, supported in part by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative co-founded by Mayor Newsom, for taxis, local government fleets, car share and charging stations ensuring that all Leaf and EV owners can get where they need to go. The vehicles in these projects will save over 700,000 gallons of gas per year worth over $2 million, enough to drive across the US 5,000 times in a typical car.
We are grateful that the landmark innovation by Nissan which makes this moment possible.
The Japanese battery-and-electronics giant took a 2% stake in the Silicon Valley automaker, which has long used Panasonic cells (among others) in the battery packs powering the Tesla Roadster. Tesla says Panasonic will be its "preferred" supplier of cells as the company develops packs for the forthcoming model S and other vehicles.
The deal isn't a big surprise, given that Panasonic has a joint venture with Toyota, which has invested $50 million in Tesla, which in turn has a separate $60 million contract to help develop the forthcoming Toyota RAV4 EV. It is nevertheless a significant development for Tesla, which also has Daimler in its corner.
This announcement follows on the heels of GE's stated plan to purchase tens of thousands of EVs, and both developments have important implications for the EV landscape. That Panasonic and GE, two of the world's most recognizable brands, have chosen to invest such significant sums in EV technology signifies a powerful endorsement and further legitimizes EVs in the US marketplace. Additionally, the funding from Panasonic will enable Tesla to improve its battery pack technology and increase efficiencies, effectively setting a new bar that will serve to reinvigorate competition and further drive product and process innovation within the EV industry.
General Motors (GM) recently announced that its Volt would be equipped with communication systems based on Google’s Android platform. This symbolizes a convergence of the automotive and internet industries as they move to deploy electric vehicles (EV) and the necessary supporting infrastructure. This partnership will provide GM Volt drivers with next-gen mobile apps, such as location-based services and battery-charging schedules that coincide with the availability of renewable energy sources. Moreover, the integration of the Volt’s vehicle communication system with the Android OS allows for a more customized driver experience that meets the specific needs of EV drivers.
In addition to GM, auto supplier Continental AG is developing a hardware and software system based on Android, called AutoLinq, that synchronizes in-vehicle infotainment with mobile-devices. SAIC, a Chinese car company, has developed and infotainment system based on version 2.1 of Android that has been a great success according to consumers and critics.
Automakers and parts manufacturers are embracing the Android OS because it offers the flexibility to create a custom interface for EV drivers, as well as taps the vast community of open-source developers and apps that are built for Android phones. The potential for innovation in this area seems limitless as growing numbers of consumers embrace EV’s and next-gen mobile apps evolve in tandem with consumer interests.
General Electric Co. may jump-start the electric-vehicle industry with an order that Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said will be the largest in history.
GE, whose power-generation equipment provides a third of the world’s electricity, will order “tens of thousands” of the vehicles in about a week, Immelt said yesterday in a speech in London, without giving a total or identifying a manufacturer.
Expanding the world’s fleet of electric vehicles would bolster GE as it expands so-called clean-energy technology such as car chargers, solar panels and wind turbines. For every dollar of electric-vehicle sales, GE estimates it may get 10 cents in revenue, said Gary Sheffer, a spokesman.
Immelt said half of GE’s sales force of about 45,000 will drive electric vehicles.
This further reinforces that electric vehicles are gathering momentum. It's one thing to put out a produce to prepare for a possible market position, it's another to place a big bet by incorporating it at large scale into the operations of one of the largest companies in the world. Which automaker GE chooses will also send a big signal - all electric? plug-in hybrid? wild-card BetterPlace?
Bay Area Climate Collaborative Announces $2.8M MTC Grant for Government EV Fleet National Demonstration Project
Project to Bring Electric Vehicles to Government Fleets to Reduce Dependence on Oil, Curb Emissions, and Catalyze National Adoption
SAN JOSE, C.A., Oct. 27, 2010 – The Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has awarded a $2.8 million grant to bring 90 electric vehicles (EVs) to government fleets across the San Francisco metro region. The BACC is working in partnership with Alameda County and a total of 11 jurisdictions including Sonoma County, and the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
Together with matching funds provided by participating agencies, the Local Government EV Fleet National Demonstration Project is worth $5 million. The grant is a part of MTC’s $33 million Climate Innovation Grants supporting clean transportation initiatives including electric taxis, car-share programs, and regional infrastructure for EVs.
“We’re thrilled to be the lead agency on this national demonstration project,” said Alameda County Fleet Manager Doug Bond. “We see an opportunity to showcase these vehicles not just locally but on a national scale, as well.”
Alameda County was awarded the NAFA Fleet Management Association Green Fleet honorable mention, and is ranked nationally as #25 in the Government Magazine's Green Fleet Awards. Additionally, Mr. Bond is a member of the Public Fleet Supervisor's Association Board.
“One of Sonoma County’s goals is to replace as many vehicles as possible with electric-vehicles and hybrids,” said Sonoma County Fleet Manager Dave Head. “We’ve moved aggressively on adding hybrids to the fleet and have seen a real cost benefit. All-electric vehicles are a natural next step for us.”
Sonoma County and Alameda County were each named one of the top 100 best fleets in 2010 by Government Fleet Magazine.
The Local Government EV Fleet National Demonstration Project will include detailed analysis as well as regional and national outreach to catalyze adoption of EVs in fleets nationwide. Anticipated to have a net annual CO2 emission reduction of 439,639 lbs overall, these vehicles are expected to cost approximately 3 cents per mile to fuel, compared to 10 to 15 cents per mile for typical gas vehicles.
“Electric vehicles reduce costs and lessen our dangerous dependence on polluting foreign oil,” said Rafael Reyes, Director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative. “The Local Government EV Fleet National Demonstration Project provides an innovative model that can be emulated nationwide.”
About the Bay Area Climate Collaborative The Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) is an initiative launched by the mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to accelerate clean energy in the San Francisco Bay Area region. With its ambitious 10 point action plan, the BACC is driving innovation, such as an exciting $5 million project to bring electric vehicles to Bay Area municipal fleets in a national demonstration project. For more information on the BACC, please visit: www.baclimate.org