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Auto Show:  2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Nissan Leaf and EV Go Charging Stations - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

by Autotrader January 2011
January 7, 2011

Nissan isn’t making a big deal about the Leaf at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and yet the car seems to be everywhere. There was a reception featuring the Leaf at the Palms casino and a test drive just down the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center, but that’s the extent of the official Leaf activities. And yet, the Leaf is everywhere at CES. Hitachi Automotive systems has a Leaf in their booth because Hitachi and Airbiquity provide the connected services for the Leaf’s advanced charging station locator as well as the eco-route feature that allows a Leaf owner to find a route that’s the least taxing on the car’s battery stored electricity. The Leaf connects to a global cloud that Airbiquity operates for Nissan.

Also, the Reliant Energy booth features a Nissan Leaf. Reliant is a Texas energy provider but they’re also building charging stations for customers who buy and EV, like the Nissan Leaf. But there is a twist, Reliant isn’t just selling a charging station, they’re selling an energy plan. EV owners essentially lease the EV Go charging station for $50 per month for 36 months. Then, they’d pay for whatever electricity they’d use. Or EV customers can opt to pay more each month for an unlimited charging plan. It might not be right for everyone but it is a clever way of fixing transportation costs. Opt for an unlimited plan and changes in energy prices will have no impact on your family budget. At this point, only Leaf owners in Cities like Houston and Dallas would be able to participate but Reliant Energy hopes to expand quickly.

Despite what seems like a sort of grass roots effort, the Leaf continues to get into the hands of real paying customers. Customers in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and now Tennessee are among the few take a Leaf home – customers in Texas and Hawaii will soon be able to purchase a Leaf as well and the total number of cars sold is approaching 100. The Nissan Leaf will also be featured prominently in the upcoming documentary Revenge of the Electric Car.

BRIAN MOODY has been an automotive writer and presenter for more than 10 years. He has contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Fox Business, the Today Show, Speed TV, and KTLA in Los Angeles. He currently covers the automotive industry and reviews new cars for the nationally syndicated Car Concerns radio show.

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Nissan Leaf and EV Go Charging Stations - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show - Autotrader