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Style, Performance, Reliability: Why Nissan's 99,999th LEAF Customer Went Electric

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Amy Eichenberger of Charlottesville, Va., became the 99,999 th global Nissan LEAF customer when she purchased her 100 percent electric vehicle (EV) at Colonial Nissan.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140119/CL48873 ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080506/NISSANWORDMARKLOGO )

Amy, a 47-year-old mother of two, wasn't even in the market for a new car. Then she spotted a University of Virginia colleague's Nissan LEAF and decided she wanted to know more about the "modern-looking, futuristic and progressive" car.

"As an architect, the style first got my attention, and I loved the concept of zero emissions," Amy said. Amy is a project manager overseeing major capital investments for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Nissan LEAF was the first car Amy test drove, and she loved the zip it had. A Mercedes driver for 10 years, Amy describes herself as "picky." Quality, safety, a "glide ride" and reliability were at the top of Amy's auto shopping list criteria.

She said she had a few initial reservations—primarily around range—so she tested out some gasoline and diesel competitors as well. "I'd been told once I drove a Mercedes I'd never drive anything else again. I don't need fancy, but I do appreciate the solid feel and craftsmanship of a luxury vehicle, and I get that in the LEAF," Amy said.

"The general fuel economy out there is unimpressive and many of them felt tin-canny. I didn't even want to look at anything in the 20 MPG range. I considered the VW Jetta TDI, Toyota Prius, Honda CRV and a couple of Subaru wagons, and I always came back to the Nissan LEAF. Everything else seemed stuck in the past," Amy explained. 

Amy ultimately chose a LEAF S in Glacier White. Her commute is about 10 miles to the university each day and most of her errand-running is around the city—well under the LEAF's estimated range of 84 miles on a full charge. 

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