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USA: Couple owns Nebraska’s first Leaf

In Nebraska, “green” has never looked this blue.

Roger and Nicole Paulman on Friday became the owners of an “ocean blue,” all-electric Nissan Leaf, the first sold and delivered in Nebraska. To finally get the keys to their environmentally friendly Leaf was a welcome end to a plodding, two-year process that involved a waiting list to get the new, $38,000 sedan.

“It actually exceeds our expectations — which is really hard to do given the buildup of two years waiting,” said Roger Paulman, 32, who works as a fellow at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Roger’s wife, Nicole Paulman, 34, will be the primary driver of the new Leaf. But it was really Roger and his love for technology that landed them the gasless Leaf.
“He picks them, I drive them,” said Nicole, a physician at Methodist Hospital.
The Leaf, which was first released to dealerships on the coasts and in major cities at the end of 2010, has taken some time to finally arrive in Nebraska. The timeline was lengthened by lower demand here for the vehicle, natural disasters in Japan that hampered Nissan’s supply chain and the state’s overall lower population.
Because of the state’s spread-out landscape, the vehicle’s range of 100 miles on a full charge doesn’t make it a viable alternative for many people with lengthy commutes, said Adam Ciochetto, a sales consultant who handles Leaf sales at Woodhouse Nissan in Bellevue.

“Omaha truly needs a little bit better of electrical vehicle infrastructure,” he said. “When that infrastructure comes, I think it might be more plausible to do an Omaha-to-Lincoln commute.”
The car also is out of the price range of many consumers.
However, the Paulmans said the Leaf will be a perfect fit for their lifestyle.
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