Nissan Motor Co., aiming to become the world’s biggest producer of electric vehicles, said it is selling rechargeable Leaf hatchbacks to Enterprise Holdings Inc. for use in the rental-car company’s U.S. operations.
Enterprise, operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National car rental lots and the WeCar car-sharing service, is buying 500 lithium-ion-powered Leafs, Katherine Zachary, a spokeswoman for Nissan, said in a phone interview. The first vehicles are to be delivered to Enterprise in January, she said.
Nissan, Japan’s third-largest automaker, aims to sell at least 20,000 units of the $32,780 Leaf in the U.S. during the model’s first year, following its U.S. introduction late this year. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has set a goal of expanding global Leaf production to as many as 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2012.
The sale of Nissan electric cars to St. Louis-based Enterprise is the second such arrangement for Nissan, which said in February it would supply Leafs to Hertz Global Holdings for use in rental fleets in the U.S. and Europe.
Nissan is based in Yokohama, Japan. Its North American operations are based in Franklin, Tennessee.
The sale of Leaf cars to Enterprise was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.