Redwood City’s Olivier Chalouhi becomes the first person to own a Nissan Leaf

Redwood City’s Olivier Chalouhi becomes the first person to own a Nissan Leaf

According to a Saturday press release by Nissan Motors, 31-year-old Olivier Chalouhi, of Redwood City, California, has become the first person in the world to own a Nissan Leaf SF all-electric car.

Nissan Motors, which held a celebratory press event outside the San Francisco city hall on Saturday, revealed that Chalouhi had taken the delivery of a black Nissan Leaf - which is being gradually rolled out by the company - at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma.

Before purchasing the new Leaf, for a $33,500 price-tag, Chalouhi did not own a car; and he uses an electric bicycle for a 20-mile round trip to his startup Fanhattan. His wife, however, has a Honda Fit. The proud owner of the first Nissan Leaf admitted: "The electric bike is nice, but a car is more convenient."

The first mass-produced electric car priced for average buyers, the Nissan Leaf - which has already been ordered by 20,000 people - has the potential to become a revolutionary `no-emissions' vehicle once it takes off.

Unlike the other electric cars which generally have only one `slow' charger, the stocky Nissan Leaf hatchback has two plugs- a quick charger and a slow charger. The car fully charge on the slow plug in about eight hours.

Nissan is reportedly working with regional and state governments and utilities on the infrastructure upgrades required for the Leaf rollout; and the company expects the car to be available countrywide in 2012.

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