Nissan North America has decided Hawaii will be one of its initial launch markets in the US early next year.

The company said that the state has shown a commitment to clean energy and is a recognised leader in the introduction of electric vehicles.

Nissan and Hawaii are working towards a partnership to promote the development of an EV network. As part of this, the automaker has committed to make the Leaf available early in the state.

NNA’s sales and marketing chief, Brian Carolin, said: “Through its work in fostering zero-emissions mobility throughout the state, Hawaii is demonstrating that it is EV-ready. These efforts, along with strong consumer interest, led us to name Hawaii as an early launch market.”

Earlier, Nissan said the LEAF would retail for US$32,780 and up before a federal tax credit of $7,500. Lease costs begin at $349 a month.

Ted Peck, programme administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office, said: “I’m looking forward to these vehicles being available. We’ve been transforming our buildings to be cleaner, more efficient, and renewable. Now we can transform our cars. This is good for consumers and good for our environment.”

NNA has already taken more than 8,200 orders in the US from potential buyers who have paid a $99 refundable reservation fee.