Nissan Leaf – photo by Tennen-Gas (source: Wikimedia Commons)

2010 means electric cars will soon be humming around America’s city streets, emitting nothing into the air but a sense of self-satisfaction and superiority. Even Prius drivers will hang their heads in shame, outdone and one upped in the latest ‘whose got the newest green toy’ competition. Of course, most parts of the U.S. will have a bit of respite before the coming vehicular revolution kicks into top gear, and can continue belching noxious fumes with impunity for a little while longer.

But not California.

Several thousand Leafs made in Japan will be delivered to metropolitan areas in California, Arizona, Washington state, Oregon and Tennessee. Around the same time, General Motors will introduce the Chevrolet Volt, a vehicle able to go 40 miles on electricity before its small gasoline engine kicks in.

–New York Times

As usual when it comes to all things green and cutting edge, it is the West Coast of the United States that will kick off the insurgency of battery powered motors. Yet this won’t be a simple case of storming California’s beaches and taking to the streets. According to an article in the New York Times, significant modifications are necessary, especially in terms of electricity infrastructure. Charging stations must be installed and power grids made sure they are able to cope with the coming added strain.

You may be wondering why Tennessee is included in the list, not being particularly well known as a cutting edge green market. The reason is that Nissan, with the help of a hefty loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, will be refitting a production plant outside of Nashville in order to produce electric Nissan Leafs and the lithium-ion battery packs used to power them.

For the most part however, Left Coast liberals will have the first crack at tooling around on their new futuristic, exhaust free sets of wheels. As is typical for California, the forecast is bright: Expect sunny dispositions with occasional patches of smugness.

additional resources:

2010 – the year of the electric car?

Electric cars: solutions to the ‘refueling’ dilemma?

U.S. energy news: Smart grids, electric cars and Green investment

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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