San Francisco is positioning itself as a world leader for electric cars by altering its building code so that new structures all have wiring for electric car chargers.

The move is designed to co-incide with the on-sale date of the Nissan Leaf, and is part of a raft of changes designed to promote electric car use.

As well as the changes to the building code, the city is launching a loan scheme to provide money to residents to install electric chargers, and installing a row of charging stations outside City Hall.

The city's mayor, Gavin Newsom, who drives an electric car, said: "If you want to put an electric charging station in your home in anticipation of all these electric vehicles, you can do it through this green financing program."

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