The first major automaker with an all-battery electric car will make the vehicle available to consumers in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area late next year, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office announced Monday.

Newsom made the announcement about the new Nissan Leaf, a mid-sized zero-emission hatchback, this morning with Nissan Senior Vice President Brian Carolin.

“This collaboration stems from Nissan’s recognition of the aggressive work we are doing to make the San Francisco Bay Area the nation’s EV (electric vehicle) capital,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.

Newsom said the car will be available in late 2010 and that other electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars would enter the market in the next year or two.

“Nissan is committed to the San Francisco market and is looking forward to working with the city and others in the partnership to make zero emissions a reality throughout the Bay Area,” Carolin said.

The company will also work with the nine Bay Area counties and several cities that belong to the Bay Area EV Corridor Program–announced last year by Newsom, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed — to promote the use of plug-in vehicles in the region, according to Newsom’s office.

The work will include promoting and developing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the Bay Area, including installation of charging equipment in customers’ homes. The Nissan Leaf will serve as a pilot vehicle for the process.

According to Newsom’s office, San Francisco recently received a $1 million federal appropriation to support electric vehicle initiatives. In addition, two regional grants totaling $750,000 will go toward technical training and curriculum development.

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  • Greg Dewar

    No surprises here – Gavin likes these glossy press conferences where he can talk big about something he’ll forget about once the conference is over.

    In the end, the money will be pissed away, we’ll be no closer to having a network of EV charging stations, and no one will hold Gavin accountable, probably because he’ll be out of office soon anyway, but even if not, no one would do any follow up.

    Muni will continue to be beaten and punished like a prisoner in a medieval torture chamber under the current regime of Newsom and Ford. Transit First – more like transit first to take a hit.