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Seattle partners with Nissan on EV program

Electrical infrastructure projects continue as Nissan gears up for U.S. commercial release of EVs in 2010.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels City of Seattle

The City of Seattle has partnered with Nissan North America to promote the development of an electric vehicle charging network in anticipation of Nissan's release of its highway-legal EV, Renault-Nissan Alliance and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced Tuesday.

Nissan's commercially sold EV will have a different look than its EV-02 prototype, but the same functionality. The Nissan EV is expected to have a range of 100 miles on a single charge and be able to be charged within four to eight hours via a 220-volt outlet. The City of Seattle is planning to work with its local utility to come up with a program for installing the outlets--already commonly used in homes for electric laundry dryers--in interested residents' garages. It will also work to develop electric charging stations throughout Seattle.

The announcement is just one in a list of many U.S. communities that have begun to develop electrical charging stations in anticipation of Nissan's commercial EV release in the U.S. in 2010.

Last week Renault-Nissan Alliance announced a program in Tennessee. In March and April, Nissan announced partnerships with local Arizona governments to development a corridor of electric charging stations that would encompass the 116-mile stretch between Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. as well as their surrounding areas.

That particular project includes a partnership with tech company Ecotality. Its CEO Jonathan Read has told CNET it will be building the Arizona stations to accommodate any EV that adheres to Society of Automotive Engineers standards for electric vehicles, not just Nissan's EV.

Nissan now has projects geared toward establishing electric charging stations in anticipation of its 2010 EV launch in the U.S. in Sonoma County and San Diego, Calif., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Oregon, and Tennessee.

But the Seattle announcement is unique because the power source for the electric charging stations will be from City Light, the publically-owned utility who's claim to fame is that it's "net zero" for greenhouse gas emissions.

"From light rail to street cars to electric vehicles, we're reducing the impact of transportation on our climate. Electric-powered transportation is particularly attractive in a city with a carbon-neutral utility, generating clean electricity through hydropower," Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said in a statement.