New Electric Vehicle: Nissan Leaf

Somehow the Nissan Leaf has been overlooked by many, but Nissan announced today how the purchase process will work, when cars will be delivered, and some nice photographs of the Leaf.  The Nissan Leaf is a new Electric Vehicle (EV) which will be on sale in the United States later this year, which Nissan touts as being the first mass-market electric vehicle in the US.

The purchase process involves buying the car, its batteries and an in-home charger, all at a Nissan dealership.  Nissan says that this process will be a one-step deal, for lease or purchase, and includes the aforementioned products.  The Leaf Tour has just ended, with many stops across the US.  Nissan used this Tour to show off its 100 mile-per-charge electric car, which it also says will be “affordable.”  I use affordable in quotes because while there is speculation that the car will be in the mid-$20,000’s, Nissan has yet to release official prices for it.

While details are light on the car and the process to get one, I’d expect the car to start in the low-$20,000 range, with options pushing it close to $30,000.  I’d also expect Nissan to hire 3rd-party contractors to do the installation of in-home chargers, and that should be upwards of $2,000 of the total purchase price.  It’s interesting that the battery is sold separately from the car, although in the same transaction.  This leads me to believe that the battery packs will be user-replaceable.  Given the research I’ve done, the battery packs will probably retail for $3-6,000.

The purchasing process is as follows:

  • REGISTER: Interested people can register for more information about the Nissan LEAF To date, close to 50,000 people have registered on the website. Registrants will be given first priority to reserve a Nissan LEAF.
  • RESERVE: The reservation process will begin in April, shortly after the announcement of the price of the Nissan LEAF. Upon paying a fully refundable $100 reservation fee, registrants will be among the first in line able to order a Nissan LEAF.
  • ORDER: Nissan will begin taking firm orders in August, for deliveries when sales begin in the driver’s particular market.
  • EARLY DELIVERIES: Rollout begins in select markets in December 2010, with vehicles available in all major launch markets quickly thereafter.

by John Suit

Source: Nissan


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