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30th June, 2011

Nissan Australia yesterday presented 16 electronic car keys for 16 of its new zero emission LEAF hatchbacks to the Victorian Government to kick off the company’s participation in the State’s five-year EV Trial.

The 16 LEAF zero-emission electric hatchbacks, built at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan, join the Government’s real-time evaluation of electric vehicles and their application in Victorian cities.

The Electric Vehicle Trial is designed to help Victoria to better understand the process, timelines and barriers for transitioning to electric vehicle technologies.

The trial seeks to place an EV in 180 households for three months each. The trial administrators will provide the vehicle charging point and pay for insurance; the household will pay the cost of electricity. The Victorian Government is attempting to find out how, where, why and when trial participants drive the vehicle - and what they think.

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Applications are now closed for households to take part in the Trial during 2011 and a total of 60 households have been offered the use of a vehicle over the course of the year. A further application process is scheduled in late 2011 this, the Government says, will be open to applicants who were not selected to participate in the first year.

Nissan Australia CEO & Managing Director Dan Thompson said the 16 Nissan LEAFs were the latest and most complete zero emission examples of petrol-free, urban transport to join the Government trial.

He said data from then trial will be a major benefit in setting parameters for the Australian launch of the Nissan LEAF in the first half of 2012.

The Nissan LEAF has also been confirmed as having a 5-star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

The 5-star rating is the first for an electric vehicle from ANCAP.

ANCAP said that the 5-star rating, based on EuroNCAP tests, confirmed that “eco-friendly” can be “safe”.

The Nissan LEAF comprises a full suite of air bags, anti lock brakes and electronic stability control. ANCAP said it performed well in crash testing with the passenger compartment holding its shape and thus offering protection for the occupants.


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