The EV Project still open to Tenn. Leaf customers

Customers who sign up will receive a $2,500 rebate to charge up their Leaf vehicles at charging stations around the state.

The Nissan Leaf is the focus of the EV Project.
The Nissan Leaf is the focus of the EV Project. Nissan

Clean transportation-focused company ECOtality says it still has openings for The EV Project.

The EV Project, which is being operated by ECOtality, is what the company calls, the "largest deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure" in the U.S. Only available in Tennessee for now, the Project is a pilot program that will measure how customers who own electric vehicles charge up their cars, where they do so, and other behaviors.

Charging stations are being deployed around several cities in Tennessee, including Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

To help coax customers into participating in The EV Project, Tennessee is offering Nissan Leaf owners a $2,500 rebate that can be used when they charge up their vehicles. All told, the state is investing $2.5 million for those rebates.

ECOtality did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on how much it will cost to fully charge up the Leaf.

Related stories:
• Nissan Leaf overshadows Chevy Volt in June sales
• Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf ace their crash tests
• CNET review of the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf, which launched last year, is an all-electric car. While the vehicle has caught some attention because of its features, it's still not all that popular. In June, Nissan sold just 1,708 Leaf units in the U.S.

The main issue critics cite with the Leaf is its ability to hold a charge: the car can only drive between 75 miles to 100 miles before its battery needs to be filled up. And at a starting price of $32,780, it's certainly not cheap.

That said, the Leaf is quite safe . Earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Leaf its highest rating of "good" for front, side, rear, and rollover crashes. The organization said that the car's weight--about 3,370 pounds--makes it stable in collisions.

Looking ahead, ECOtality hopes to expand the availability of commercial charging stations across the U.S. The company said in a statement today that it will examine how things go in Tennessee to develop best practices for deploying charging infrastructure elsewhere around the country.

 

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