SEATTLE - Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) delivered the State of Washington's first all-electric Nissan LEAF late last week, following deliveries earlier in the week in Northern and Southern California, Arizona, and Oregon. Delivered to an Seattle area couple, this represents the state's first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car, according to a release from Nissan.

For more than two years, Nissan has been working in collaboration with the City of Seattle to foster the development of electric vehicle-friendly policies and an EV-charging infrastructure. The couple who took delivery of the vehicle are customers of Seattle City Light, the first electric utility in the country to become carbon neutral. Since 2005, Seattle City Light has achieved net carbon neutral carbon dioxide emissions, every year.

Seattle and King County comprise a primary launch market for the Nissan LEAF. King County Executive Dow Constantine, who late last year test-drove a prototype Nissan LEAF when it was brought to Seattle, said, "We're replacing some of the smaller, aging vehicles in our Vanpool and motor pool programs with 35 Nissan LEAFs over the course of the next year, and we're working with many partners throughout the region to install charging stations."

Seattle and King County are also participants in The EV Project, a research and charging infrastructure deployment project. The EV Project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by electric-vehicle charging company ECOtality.

The initial Nissan LEAF deliveries will be followed by a second shipment of Nissan LEAF electric cars scheduled to arrive on Dec. 20, and destined for consumer driveways in time for the holidays. Nissan is on track for a nationwide launch of the Nissan LEAF by 2012, with Hawaii and Texas next to roll out in early 2011. In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011, according to the automaker.