Washington state governor Jay Inslee (right) presents Steve Marsh with a special pin as Washingtonian of the Day in celebration of Marsh reaching 100,000 petrol-free miles in his 2011 Nissan Leaf. Marsh, a Kent resident, is the first known owner to drive 100,000 miles

Washington state governor Jay Inslee (right) presents Steve Marsh with a special pin as Washingtonian of the Day in celebration of Marsh reaching 100,000 petrol-free miles in his 2011 Nissan Leaf. Marsh, a Kent resident, is the first known owner to drive 100,000 miles

Stories of Toyota hybrids reliably clicking over hundred of thousands of miles or kilometres are pretty routine but now there's news of what is believed to be the first Nissan Leaf EV to pass 100,000 miles.

The car belongs to Steve Marsh of Kent, Washington, who purchased the car early in 2011 for his 130-mile round trip daily commute.

"With a daily commute of about 130 miles, I've saved more than US$9,000 compared to my old [petrol]-powered car since I bought my Leaf," said Marsh, who credits the state's strong charging infrastructure. "With plenty of public charging options, as well as a charger installed at my office, my Leaf is a perfect car for my commute."

Marsh was one of the first buyers of the Nissan EV in Washington. A financial controller for Taylor Shellfish, he made the decision to go electric and buy based primarily on the car's low cost of ownership.

"While many early buyers were excited to buy for environmental reasons or to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, Steve Marsh is a prime example of consumers who approach electric cars with a practical mindset," said Erik Gottfried, director of EV sales and marketing at Nissan. "Most buyers now choose the car for the simple economics that Steve recognised right away. It costs much less to drive and maintain than a [petrol] car yet still provides a great driving experience."

Washington developed one of the country's most robust EV charging networks. The West Coast Electric Highway opened last year giving EV drivers range confidence that they can find easy and convenient charging along Interstate 5 and other roadways. With a full charge in about 30 minutes, the fast charger at the Tumwater Shell station is a regular stop for Marsh and his son Christopher making it possible to carpool to work in an all-electric car.

When Marsh bought the Leaf, he approached his employer to consider installing a charging unit for public use at his Taylor Shellfish office in Shelton. His management quickly agreed it was a good idea, he said, especially since it aligns with the company's environmental philosophies. His was among the first businesses in the region to install a public charging station. Since then, the company has added charging at its shellfish hatchery in Quilcene, along the Hood Canal.

More than 5,000 plug-in-electric cars are already registered in the state. Washington has among the cleanest and least expensive supply of electricity in the nation, making it an ideal place to drive electric.

Since the Leaf launch in December 2010, Nissan has sold more than 40,000 in the United States and over 92,000 globally. To the end of November 2013, Seattle-Tacoma was one of the top US markets with a year on year increase of over 230%.

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