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Electric Car Early Adopters Are Getting the Royal Treatment

Buyers of the new all-electric Leaf are getting rebates, incentives, and personal phone calls from Nissan brass.

As The New York Times reports, people who are stepping up to buy the Nissan Leaf are getting a whole host of government incentives—and the royal treatment from Nissan.


Since Mr. McNaughton, a lawyer in Nashville, paid his $99 deposit, he has been bombarded with government incentives — promises of a $7,500 federal tax credit, a $2,500 cash rebate from the state of Tennessee, and a $3,000 home-charging unit courtesy of the Energy Department.

When he had some basic questions about the Leaf, the answers came in a 40-minute telephone call from a senior manager in Nissan’s corporate planning department.

“You kind of feel like you’re one of the chosen people,” Mr. McNaughton said.

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This is good news. If we switch our fleet of cars to all-electrics and continue to shift our sources of electricity away from coal, we can make a real dent in carbon emissions (and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improve urban environments, and so on).

But that first one is what they call a "big 'if.'" With somewhere around 250 million cars in America alone, and Nissan planning to sell 500,000 electric cars worldwide by 2013, it could take a while to shift a significant chunk of our fleet to electrics. Anything we can do to accelerate that process is helpful.

Photo by Will Etling.

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via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

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Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

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