“Tucson gets AZ 1st all electric Leaf car”

On Thursday March 10. 2011, a north-side resident became the first person locally to have an electric-car charger installed at home under a public-private program designed to boost the adoption of electric vehicles.

Resident Doug Mance also will become the first local motorist to own Nissan’s new Leaf all-electric car when he picks up the vehicle next week.

Mance, a financial adviser for RBC Wealth Management, said he wanted to get an electric car mainly to help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

“I didn’t want a hybrid; I wanted a car that didn’t use gas,” he said. “I think America is addicted to petroleum, and we buy it from people who want to do us harm … I don’t want to give my money to (Venezuelan President) Hugo Chavez.”

Environmentally, Mance said he’s aware of criticism that electric cars are only as “clean” as their power source – including not-so-clean coal. But he said he plans to offset that partly by buying “blocks” of solar power offered by Tucson Electric Power Co.

Mance’s Leaf is undergoing final preparations at Jim Click Nissan at the Tucson Auto Mall, where he plans to pick it up Monday.

Mance’s charging system is being funded by the Electric Vehicle Project to install electric-vehicle charging stations in six states and the District of Columbia. The $200 million program is funded half by federal grants and half by private partners.

As part of that program, the Pima County Association of Governments and ECOtality, a Tempe-based company, plan to install about 240 public electric vehicle-charging stations throughout the Tucson region. Leaf buyers also qualify for free home charging stations, worth about $1,500 each.

Mance is the first local consumer to get one of the chargers, said Colleen Crowninshield, Clean Cities program manager with the Pima Association of Governments.

Crowninshield said she believes Mance will be the first Tucson consumer to get a Leaf, though at least one other is owned by a local dealer. Besides Click, Thoroughbred Nissan on East 22nd Street also is selling the Leaf.

Nissan spokesman Tim Gallagher said Leaf deliveries are expected to accelerate in the next month.

Gallagher estimated about 1,000 Arizona residents have signed up on a waiting list to buy a Leaf.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at dwichner@azstarnet.com or 573-4181.

Article reprint courtesy of http://bit.ly/fhuxgd

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/gQkzpY

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