Mayor's Office

Press Release




February 5, 2010 -- Mayor Annise Parker today joined representatives of Nissan North America, LTD. and Reliant Energy for the debut of the new Nissan LEAF, the first electric vehicle available in Houston on a mass market scale.  As part of a formal partnership with Nissan, the City of Houston has agreed to help assist in the introduction and expansion of electric vehicles in the Houston area.  “The discovery of oil at Spindletop in 1901 catapulted Houston to its current title of energy capital of the world,” said Mayor Parker.  “With ongoing research and development of wind, solar and electric fuel sources, we are on the cusp of becoming the alternative energy capital of the world.  It is fitting that the city be a leader in increasing public awareness of environmentally-friendly transportation alternatives like the LEAF.”


“For more than 100 years, Houston has pioneered advances in the energy field. With the same spirit of innovation, Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance are committed to lead the way in the field of zero-emission automotive technologies,” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas. “We are the only global automakers bringing an electric vehicle lineup available to drivers on a mass-market scale and at an affordable price.”


Houston is one of 14 cities that have joined the Clinton Climate Initiative C40 in a commitment to make their cities more electric vehicle-friendly.  To that end, the city intends to add 25 electric vehicles this year, bringing to 40 the total number of plug-in cars in the city’s fleet.  It is also consolidating its motor pool, which should result in a 34 percent decrease in the size of the city fleet, 35,000 gallons of fuel savings and environmental benefits in the form of reduced emissions.  “The city’s fleet currently consists of many older and underutilized vehicles with high maintenance costs and poor gas mileage,” said Parker.

“A consolidated motor pool of younger, more fuel efficient vehicles reduce these costs and helps clean the air.”


Other steps taken by the city include installation of 10 electric vehicle charging stations downtown. Through a partnership with Reliant Energy, these fuel stations are offered to motorists free of charge throughout 2010.


“I want to congratulate the city of Houston and Nissan on today’s agreement,” said Jason Few, president of Reliant Energy. “This important step builds on the agreement we reached with Nissan late last year and is critical to the success of electric vehicles in Houston.