After charging up both coasts for several months now, the all-electric 2012 Nissan Leaf is finally making its way to the Midwest, namely Chicago, Ill. The Windy City marks the first metropolitan area Nissan will sell its plug-in compact hatchback in outside of the coast, not counting Nissan’s U.S. headquarters in Nashville of course.
Ambitious with its plans, Nissan will completely roll out the Leaf across the nation by early next year. The car, which has a range of up to 100 miles per charge, is designed to be a cleaner alternative to the city runabouts currently congesting roads across the U.S.
To accommodate the refreshed fervor in electric vehicles, Chicago is working with an organization called 350Green to create an infrastructure of 73 quick charging stations and 207 level II stations around the city by the end of 2011. Nissan claims that when the charging stations are complete, Chicago will have the biggest electric charging infrastructure in the nation.
“Illinois is laying the groundwork for electric vehicles, and our efforts are paying off,” Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement. “By investing in electric vehicle technology, both the State of Illinois and Nissan are making transportation in our state more efficient, sustainable and affordable.”
The electric infrastructure investment is costing Chicago $1 million secured through the Clean Cities Grant Fund. Illinois is pushing strongly to promote greener transportation, posting a $4000 tax credit for electric-powered vehicles on top of the federal government’s $7500 incentive, effectively bringing the price of a Leaf down to as low as $24,550 come tax season.