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Dec-15-2010 21:29printcomments

Merkley Statement on Arrival of All-electric Nissan Leaf Vehicles in Portland

Senator Jeff Merkley
Senator Jeff Merkley

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The U.S. Department of Energy highlighted the arrival of all-electric Nissan Leaf vehicles in Portland, Oregon Wednesday. Oregon’s I-5 corridor was selected as an early participant in the Electric Vehicle (EV) Project to deploy thousands of electric vehicles and charging stations in cities across the nation. The EV Project is funded by the Recovery Act and has been expanded to include more charging stations in rural areas.

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the arrival of the new electric vehicles:

“Oregon has established itself as a leader in the adoption of innovative transportation solutions and today’s arrival of the Nissan Leaf provides Oregonians with a new option to spend less on fuel and produce less pollution. Electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf will save families money, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.”

In May, Senator Merkley introduced the Electric Vehicles Deployment Act to facilitate rapid deployment of electric vehicles in the United States.

Under the Recovery Act, ECOtality North America was awarded nearly $115 million to launch the EV Project, the largest deployment of electric vehicles and infrastructure in the country. The EV Project will install nearly 15,000 electric vehicle charging points and deploy 8,500 electric drive vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf, in Portland and markets across the country. Through this project, ECOtality will collect and analyze data on vehicle use and charging infrastructure effectiveness. The company estimates that the project will save or create nearly 1,500 jobs.

As a result of a $1.4 billion Department of Energy loan, Nissan North America has also now broken ground on a new manufacturing facility for the Nissan Leaf in Smyrna, Tennessee, which will supply Nissan Leaf vehicles for the U.S. market once operational.

To learn more about the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program and other efforts to develop and deploy fuel-efficient vehicles, please visit

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