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Early Leaf fan happy

Sean Hart charges his new Nissan Leaf electric car at a Windsor Crossing Outlet station. The self-professed “technology guy” is likely the first individual in the area to purchase the vehicle.
Photograph by: Tyler Brownbridge, The Windsor Star , The Windsor Star
Grace MacAluso, The Windsor Star
| May 21, 2013 | Last Updated: May 21, 2013 – 6:09 UTC
Sean Hart is a self-proclaimed early adopter.

“I’m a technology guy,” said Hart. “I like to jump into stuff early on.”

About a month ago, Hart became the owner of a Nissan Leaf and it’s believed that the Belle River resident is the first individual in Southwestern Ontario to purchase the plug-in electric vehicle.

“His is the only private purchase so far,” said Chris Johnson of South London Infiniti Nissan. The only other Leaf purchase was made by a corporate customer, Johnson added.

In both Canada and the U.S., Nissan has been rolling out the Leaf gradually, allocating the vehicle to selected dealers. The local Nissan dealership expects to begin selling the vehicle in September, said Rene Primeau, sales manager at Nissan of Windsor.

“There’s a fair amount of interest,” said Primeau. “Some people would just like to see it, drive it and decide whether it’s for them.”

Since its Canadian launch in September 2011, the vehicle has generated about 614 sales, said Didier Marsaud, spokesman for Nissan Canada. In the U.S., Nissan achieved a milestone of 25,000 Leaf sales last week, he added.

Despite generous government rebates on both sides of the border, sales of electric vehicles have been sluggish. According to some industry estimates, plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs, will make up less than two per cent of annual global light-duty vehicles by 2020.



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