California resident takes delivery of first Nissan LEAF


December 12, 2010

Olivier Chalouhi in his new Nissan LEAF

Olivier Chalouhi in his new Nissan LEAF

Image Gallery (7 images)

San Francisco Bay Area resident Olivier Chalouhi has become the first person in the world to take delivery of a Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle. At a special presentation on Saturday at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma in California, Chalouhi, a 31-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was the first person in the U.S. to place a LEAF order, took possession of a black LEAF SL in what Nissan described as an historic event representing “the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.”

Before purchasing his LEAF, Chalouhi made the 10-mile (16 km) each way commute to work on a homemade electric bicycle. But with two kids he said he wanted a highway capable electric car that could handle two car seats so he could drop them off at school. He says that with the LEAF being the only 100% electric car on the market, his decision to purchase the US$32,780 vehicle was an easy one.

“San Francisco is committed to make the Bay Area the top EV market in America, and the fact that San Francisco is the number one market in the nation for Nissan LEAF ownership reservations is proof we’re on our way,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “We are proud that Bay Area resident is the very first owner of a LEAF, anywhere in the world. We congratulate Olivier Chalouhi and the thousands of other Bay Area residents who soon will be driving electric cars, leading the way to climate friendly transportation.”

The San Francisco Bay Area event kicked off more than a week of festivities, as Nissan delivers the first LEAF vehicles to each of its primary U.S. launch markets in Southern California, Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.

In all of these first markets, including Sonoma County, the home of North Bay Nissan, Nissan has formed partnerships with local, regional and state governments along with utilities to foster the development of EV-friendly policies and EV-charging infrastructure.

As part of The EV Project, a research and charging infrastructure deployment program funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and the largest EV infrastructure project ever undertaken, Nissan is working with AeroVironment Inc. to supply and install home charging docks for Nissan LEAF customers nationwide, including Chalouhi, as well as first customers in Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.

The initial U.S. LEAF deliveries will be followed by a second shipment scheduled to arrive on Dec. 20 ahead of a nationwide launch of the LEAF by 2012, with Hawaii and Texas next to roll out in early 2011. To keep up interest and meet demand, Nissan says it plans to reopen U.S. reservations in the first half of 2011 and shift the timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.

Nissan is due to kick off sales of the LEAF in Japan from Dec. 20 and in select European markets in early 2011, with a release for other global markets set for 2012.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

LOL he paid a lot for a golf cart..

Michael Mantion

heh heh Olivier you look sooo pleased good on you


that`s a lot of smug...........

Alfredo Limon

I still want to get an Aptera all-electric, I think it looks that much groovier. The Aptera can\'t hold two child seats though.


I think the LEAF will prove to be a popular car. We have needed an alternate to combustian engines for a long time. The battery packs will improve over time and more renewable energy sources should become available. It is a good direction for our country to take.

Adrian Akau

The batteries are just an energy storage mechanism. Essentially, it runs on coal.


Funny they used the term \"Rundown\" so often in the picture captions. I read another article about taxes added to everyone\'s electric bill when enough electric cars are using the road and not paying highway taxes through fuel purchases.


"the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era"

Unmitigated balderdash and poppycock! The GM produced EV1 was the first.

And if not for the high battery pack cost which gave it a $500-600 lease price, the 50 mi. range for the first gen and 100-120 mi. range for the second gen, and lets not forget the Big Oil gripes of cutting their sales, the EV1 would have been the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel strangle hold.

Lamar Havard

YOU TELL \'EM LAMAR! I second Lamar\'s comments! In 1996 GM built an all electric car, the \"EV1.\" But the vehicle was so well built, it scared the sh** out of Big Oil, so much so that Chevron bought the rights to its 100-mile battery so it would not be reproduced! To add insult, GM made the lame decision to destroy all of its EV1 fleet so NO ONE would have and/or produce one for years to come! Now their VOLT can\'t even get the minimal 100-mile range the EV1 comfortably did!

It\'s now Nissan\'s turn! Suck it up GM, you blew it!

Facebook User

How about a follow up interview with Olivier Chalouhi. A few words from him might set things straight as to the practicality of using a LEAF in San Francisco. I for one, would like to know how it does going up hills plus its peformance on the highways/freeways. Nothing is out as yet as far as practical use is concerned.

Adrian Akau
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