UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, Updated September, 2015


Never Buy Gas Again: Nissan’s Electric Vehicle Discount for UCSF Employees

Leaf 2016
The Sunshares program with the Nissan discount program is available through November 4 2016, however you can also obtain the $1000 below retail for UCSF employees is still in effect and EXTENDED indefinitely

This offer applies to all UCSF employees. 

This is still a great deal!


• 2016 Nissan Leaf S - Market Rate Price (MSRP): $29,000
• Nissan corporate discount: $1,000 off MSRP from dealership
• Federal tax credit (up to $7,500) and State of CA rebate (approx. $2,500) available for 2016
• A POTENTIAL NET VALUE OF $10,000 savings = (plus taxes and fees, after all credit & rebates are received)

Find more information, go to this link.
Ready to purchase?  Please follow these steps:
1. Visit www.insidenissan.com and click the “Business Associate” box.
2. Enter the College/University Faculty/Staff Member code “VPP010293“
3. Get Your Claim ID
4. Print the form
5. Take it to you local dealership and show them the Claim ID form.  Most are participating dealers.  UCSF Photo ID required.
6. Contact VPP headquarters at 1-800-299-4753 for more questions

UCSF Community Responds Positively

As of October 2015, many many UCSF employees have taken advantage of the program.  As a result, Nissan donated 16 charging stations to UCSF and have been installed at the Mission Bay hospital garage.

“Always looking to make a positive impact on our environment, I became interested in electric cars after seeing the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? a few years ago.  And then, after The Tesla S received some of the best reviews in the industry, going electric became even more enticing. Simply put, going zero emissions is the future and it’s exciting to be a part of it,” explained Jamie Hiltabidel, CNII in the Adult Cath Lab in the Heart & Vascular Center at UCSF Parnassus and a recent participant in the UCSF Leaf discount program.  Along with the federal and state rebates, Hiltabidel was attracted by the UCSF special of $1,000 off in extra savings.

“We loved the concept of an electric car, but actually being in it and test driving one is what sold us.  First, my husband is 6’ 2” so many cars don’t accommodate him very well.  There is plenty of headroom in the Leaf.  Second, the car is zippy and fun to drive as soon as you press the accelerator,” explained Hiltabidel.  They had a positive experience with the San Francisco dealership.  “John Elwick was outstanding.  He was very personable and knowledgeable.  We left a couple hours later in our newly leased car.”  The cost savings have sealed the deal.  Hiltabidel said, “We were spending $250 a month on gas, but it’s now less than $50/month.”

Leading by Example

UCSF’s Sustainability Manager Gail Lee gets kudos for leading by example.  She was an early adopter, purchasing the first Honda Insight hybrid in 2000 and solar panels for her home in 2012.  “It only seemed natural to become climate neutral by purchasing the Leaf,” explained Lee.  “I love my Leaf!  It’s quiet, comfortable, has a great 360 degree camera and navigation. It will even locate charging stations for you.  I’ve found quite a few driving around the Bay Area and that really reduces any range anxiety one might feel.  It just take a little planning,” stressed Lee.  Charging up at one of the UCSF stations is $1.25 for an hour charge, much cheaper than a gallon of gas!

Other UCSF Nissan Leaf ownwers include Ken Jones, MC COO, Josh Adler, MC CMO, Joe DiRisi, PhD, Howard Hughes Researcher/Principal Investigator, Jamie Hiltabidel, andmany others UCSF staff and faculty have made the move to electric vehicles.  You can too!