2010 Nissan Leaf EV - Click above for hi-res image gallery

Nissan has made it official: pre-orders for the Leaf electric car will start in spring 2010. The company said that, "Nearly 22,000 people in North America have contacted Nissan since the company unveiled the car in August." Nissan's Carlos Tavares, head of Nissan's operations in North, Central and South America, said the company is hoping that all this initial interest will translate into sales and is expecting of have "at least 20,000 reservations for Nissan LEAF by the time we deliver the world's first mass-market zero-emission car in late 2010."

To prepare the market, Nissan will offer people who sign-up for the Leaf – either to buy or to just be alerted when a test drive is available – information on how to become "plug-in ready." The first markets for the Leaf in the U.S. include Tennessee and Oregon; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; and the Phoenix/Tucson region in Arizona. Nissan said that 70 percent of the people who have contacted them for more information about the Leaf live in one of these regions and they seem to be exactly the kinds of drivers that would get the most use and fewest hassles from an EV. 90 percent say they drive less than 100 miles a day and 75 percent live in a two-car household. The Leaf will kick-off a U.S. promo tour in November. Nissan got a DOE loan in June to build plug-in cars in the U.S. starting in late 2012.

Related Gallery2010 Nissan Leaf EV

[Source: Nissan]


PRESS RELEASE:

Nissan LEAF Electric Car Reservations to Begin in the U.S. in Spring 2010

Nissan North America Targets 20,000 Reservations by Launch Near End of 2010; Will Expand Production to U.S. in 2012

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In response to strong initial demand for the Nissan LEAF zero-emission electric car, Nissan North America, Inc. announced it will begin taking reservations for LEAF in spring 2010. Nearly 22,000 people in North America have contacted Nissan since the company unveiled the car in August.

"The groundswell of interest, especially from people in our initial launch markets, demonstrates to us the importance of a reservation system," said Carlos Tavares, head of Nissan's operations in North, Central and South America. "Our goal is to confirm at least 20,000 reservations for Nissan LEAF by the time we deliver the world's first mass-market zero-emission car in late 2010."

Nissan will invite people to "opt-in" and receive updates and information about LEAF through a reservation system that will tell them when the electric car is available - either for test drives or to take home. Participants will receive the latest news about the company's zero-emission activities as well as information about Nissan LEAF and how to become "plug-in ready."

"We'll continue to reach out to this enthusiastic and rapidly growing group as we approach launch," said Tavares.

About 70 percent of the people in North America who have contacted Nissan about LEAF reside in markets where the all-electric zero-emission car first will be brought to market.

Of those who have contacted Nissan, about half report that they want to obtain LEAF as soon as it's available, and another 45 percent indicate interest in owning an electric vehicle within the next two to three years. Metro areas with the strongest consumer responses are San Diego, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Los Angeles - all of which are among the first markets where LEAF will be available globally.

More than 90 percent of the people who have contacted Nissan indicate that they drive less than 100 miles daily, which is the range of LEAF when fully charged. Meanwhile, 75 percent indicate that they are members of two-car households - prime candidates for an efficient commuter car like the all-electric, zero-emission LEAF.

People interested in zero-emission mobility will have the opportunity to see Nissan LEAF starting in November, on the heels of its appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show, when it will be on tour throughout the major launch markets in the United States. The tour will kick off in Los Angeles at a dedicated event.

Nissan is the only automaker committed to making all-electric vehicles available to the mass market on a global scale. Beginning in late 2012, Nissan will manufacture LEAF and its advanced lithium-ion battery pack for the U.S. market at the company's plant in Smyrna, Tenn. Initially, LEAF will be manufactured in Japan.

Nissan LEAF will be available for private and fleet customers. People who wish to participate in the reservation program can visit www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car. Details about the program and pricing are being finalized.

In the United States, Nissan - in conjunction with the Renault-Nissan Alliance - is exploring ways to promote zero-emission mobility and the development of an electric-vehicle infrastructure through partnerships in the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon, Sonoma County and San Diego in California, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Washington D.C., Seattle, and Raleigh, N.C. Additional partnerships will be announced in the near future.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com
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