Nissan Leaf

Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn may not be intimately familiar with the Dean Martin 1962 classic South of the Border, but he may as well start crooning the standard now. The Japanese automaker said this week that the Nissan Leaf will officially be the first mass-produced battery-electric vehicle to be sold in Mexico. So break out the horn section.

Nissan will start selling the Leaf through its Mexico City dealership network and is touting features such as the car's fast-charging port. That feature allows the car to be 80-percent charged in about a half hour. Nissan and the Mexican government are also working on an "electric corridor" of charging stations between Mexico City and Cuernavaca, which is about 55 miles to the south. There will also be "charging zones" in various districts throughout Mexico City, making it easier for the newly inaugurated EV drivers to charge up in town.

Nissan has been working on Leaf brand exposure to Mexico City for years, sending the first batch of 100 all-electric Leaf taxis to Mexico starting in the fall of 2011. Last month, Nissan had its best ever month of sales in the US, moving 3,117 Leafs in May and the company has sold over 115,000 Leafs around the world. Check out Nissan's press release below.
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Nissan becomes the first company to sell a 100% electric vehicle in Mexico

Nissan LEAF arrives in Mexico and becomes the first 100 percent electric vehicle to be comprehensively marketed in the country.
The car of the future is already part of the present with more than 115,000 global sales.
Nissan, the leader company in electric vehicles, strengthens its commitment to promote Zero-Emission mobility by opening charge centers distributed in Mexico.
MEXICO CITY – Nissan today announced the launch of LEAF, the first 100 percent electric vehicle to be marketed in Mexico. The presale starts today and will continue until its arrival on June 30.

Nissan LEAF is the first zero-emissions vehicle marketed in Mexico, confirming the leadership and the promise of the Japanese company to transform traditional driving into a new silent experience.

"Nissan LEAF is a reality in the Mexican market," said Airton Cousseau, CEO of Nissan Mexicana. "We are proud to be the pioneer company to introduce the first zero-emissions vehicle leader in sales worldwide in Mexico. This release represents an honor for us and recognizes a milestone in the history of innovation in Nissan, a cornerstone of our business strategy."

In Mexico, the Nissan LEAF will be available in a unique version with Around View Monitor that allows a panoramic view around the car, "B Mode driving" that allows power renewal almost immediately after the throttle is removed, a fast-charging port that allows a recharge of 80 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes, leather seats, a 7-inch touch screen, and many other features.

"Many of the 115,000 LEAF users have expressed the thrill of driving an electric vehicle," said Alejandro Viveros, senior manager of the zero-emissions business unit. "Having a Nissan LEAF is a totally fun and satisfying experience that now Mexican customers can enjoy."

Initially, the Nissan LEAF in Mexico will be available for sale through Nissan's certified dealership network located in Mexico City.

In addition, Nissan and the Government of the State of Morelos have taken the initiative to create the first electric corridor in Latin America that will be located between Mexico City and Cuernavaca.

Mexico City soon will have a development plan to install charging zones in Colonia Roma, Colonia Del Valle, Coyoacan, Polanco, Santa Fe, Ciudad Satelite, Altavista and San Angel.

"The main goal of this infrastructure is to increase the offer of charging stations to increase the confidence and safety when driving an electric vehicle, with the benefit of a responsible social change," said Jorge Vallejo, director of external relations and government affairs for Nissan in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. "We understand the anxiety that driving an electric vehicle can cause without the proper infrastructure in each city, and the most important and positive fact is that every Nissan LEAF user has the chance to charge the vehicle at home."

Nissan presented the results of a study led by INAINE (Institute for Ecological Research Assistance, AC) in relation to the development of EV infrastructure in Mexico City. The study was possible thanks to a fund that METI (a Japanese government entity) awarded Nissan, and it confirmed the viability of infrastructure development for the marketing of EVs in Mexico City.