By Nina Wu
The long-awaited, all-electric Nissan Leaf is here in Honolulu.
And it couldn't come at a better time, given the escalating gas prices on Oahu.
Tony Nissan delivered its first Nissan Leaf to state Rep. Mark Takai (D-Newtown, Pearl City) at the Tony Group Autoplex in Waipahu earlier this month.
"I wanted to do our part in weaning Hawaii off its addiction to fossil fuels," said Takai in a press release. "We can't continue to spend more than $6 billion each year to import foreign fuels."
Takai also has solar PV panels installed on his home, which will produce a few more kilowatt hours a day to power the Nissan Leaf. The car charges up like a cell phone, ideally when you sleep.
Hawaii is one among seven U.S. markets the Leaf has chosen to launch the all-electric car. The 2010 Leaf's suggested manufacturer's retail price is $32,780, but qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit and $4,500 state tax credit.
A total of 300 reservations were made for the Nissan Leaf in Hawaii. Nissan delivered one car in early January. Hopefully, you'll see more of them hitting the road soon.
The 2011 Nissan Leaf will be on exhibit at the First Hawaiian International Auto Show March 18 to 20 at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Toyota's new plug-in electric Prius (which will be available soon to Hawaii buyers), the RAV4 EV (built by Toyota in collaboration with Tesla and currently undergoing evaluation), and plug-in electrics like the Mitsubishi "i" (previously known as the i-MiEV) will also be at the show.