While Puerto Rico is not Latin America, it opens the doors to the vast continent for Nissan. Nissan Motor Company has announced their new 2014 Nissan LEAF will be ready for the Puerto Rican markets in January 2013. The reason behind seems to be simple. According to the company’s press release: “Zero emissions, Zero excise taxes; Puerto Rico joins select group of countries building a foundation for zero-emissions mobility by setting consumer incentives and promoting the creation of infrastructure.” Zero excise taxes...
With an initial supply of 150 all-electric Leaf, Nissan is striking a loud PR coup by choosing Puerto Rico. Not only will this be a first in bringing clean transportation and new technology to the island, but it also appeases the politics involved behind the $1.4 billion loan the carmaker received through the US Department of Energy in order to enable the production of the Leaf and its battery pack in the Smyrna factory in Tennessee.
Zero Excise Tax. Maybe the key words here are zero excise tax. Indeed, in order to ensure better sales, the Puerto Rico Government pitched in to help Nissan sale its all-electric Leaf by offering a 65% excise tax cut to buyers of all hybrid and plug-in vehicles. To sweeten the deal further, the government added a 100% exemption on complete electric vehicles until 2016. This comes on the heels of fourteen months after Nissan and the government of Puerto Rico signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU to explore and foster the future introduction of electric vehicles in Puerto Rico.
Emergence of Charging Infrastructure. Without a charging network infrastructure there are no electric cars. Municipalities know that and have been working on the problem. In fact, the municipalities of Bayamón and Ponce have installed public charging stations. Nissan has also installed charging stations in Cataño and Toa Baja. Public and private companies have installed charging stations in Carolina, Santurce and Río Piedras.
According to Bill Krueger, vice-chairman of Nissan Americas: "Nissan made a conscious investment on zero-emissions mobility with a 100 percent electric car that has proven its quality under extremely different driving conditions around the world. We are proud to collaborate with some of the most progressive national, state and local governments - in terms of EV policies - which enable the arrival of the Nissan LEAF by following through on their environmental vision. Public sector partners, such as Puerto Rico, recognize their role, not just as supporters of green technologies, but as change agents that consider the practical conditions under which the future can be ´pulled forward' and realized today,"
It makes plenty of sense for Nissan to push the introduction of its all-electric Leaf in Puerto Rico. Islands have smaller traveled distances and Puerto Rico is a great bet for electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf.