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We found an email in our inbox today that should make a lot of long-term plug-in vehicle fans happy. For the first time in about forever, a major OEM is taking orders on an all-electric passenger vehicle. Yes, Nissan is about ready to take your money in exchange for a purchase or a lease on the new Leaf, starting Tuesday. That's when Nissan will open the doors to accepting refundable $99 reservations from people who signed up on NissanUSA.com. Once these hand-raisers are taken care of, anyone interested can send in the reservation money. Actual pre-orders for the Leaf begin in August.

We did notice something interesting. In our email, the image announcing the reservation fee was divvied up into two parts, with our specific reservation time listed separately:

Did anyone get a different time? Maybe Nissan is staggering the reservations a bit? In any case, weʻre getting close to a time when all of the prognostications weʻve heard about this car (it'll flop! it won't!) will be firmly locked in the past. Either people will want to drive the Leaf or they won't. The time for proof is (almost) here. Official press release after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]



- Pool of 115,000 registrants gains first priority -

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (April 19, 2010) – In response to strong consumer demand, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) will begin taking reservations for the Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric vehicle on April 20. The reservation process is a first step in securing a place on the list to purchase or lease a Nissan LEAF. The Nissan LEAF begins rolling out to select markets in December, and will be widely available in 2011.

In the United States , more than 115,000 people have formalized their interest in driving a Nissan LEAF by signing up for more information on NissanUSA.com. These registrants will be given priority in the reservation process. Consumers must be registered on NissanUSA.com by the end of today in order to be eligible for the early reservation process. Reservations will open to the general public on May 15.

"Early interest in the Nissan LEAF has been highly encouraging," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales & marketing, NNA. "People from across the country have raised their hands to be among the first to drive home a Nissan LEAF. Consumers are pledging broad support for the first affordable electric vehicle for the mass market."

* Priority reservation instructions will be sent to early registrants by email between 1-6 pm EDT on April 20. The email will include an exclusive link enabling each person to start the reservation process.
* Through the link, the customer will create an account, configure his or her vehicle, and answer questions to complete a driving profile.
* Consumers will be asked to pay by credit card a $99 reservation fee, which is fully refundable.
* After placing a reservation, a customer will be able to indicate a preferred dealer.
* Consumers who reserve a Nissan LEAF will receive confirmation numbers. Nissan will provide individual updates for their reservations by June 30.
* Reservations are limited to one per household.
* Consumer inquiries about the reservation process can be answered at the Nissan LEAF call center, 1-877-664-2738.

April 20 also marks the date for the debut of a new website on NissanUSA.com to support the launch of the Nissan LEAF. The website will continue to serve as a resource about the most up-to-date information for the Nissan LEAF, including upcoming special events.

Including the $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Nissan LEAF will be fully eligible, the consumer's after-tax net value of the vehicle will be $25,280. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price *(MSRP) for the 2011 all-electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF is $32,780. Additionally, there is an array of state and local incentives that may further defray the costs, and increase the benefits, for owning and charging a Nissan LEAF. For example, a $5,000 statewide tax rebate is offered in California ; a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia ; a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon ; and carpool-lane access in some states, including California . The lease price for the Nissan LEAF begins at $349 per month.

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 the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.

MSRP excludes applicable tax, title and license fees. Dealer sets actual price. Prices and specs are subject to change without notice

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My e-mail had the same time....very tempted to go for it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Once again not a vehicle one buys to "save money" even with the tax break. It looks to be about the same size as the Nissan Versa which starts under $11,000 MSRP. The price "premium" on the LEAF will buy a lot of gasoline! Will probably do well with certain government-run agencies and as an environmental/oil conservation "statement" car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I compared the LEAF to the Versa because they're both Nissans of similar size, one being all-electric and the other being traditional gas-engine. I wouldn't compare it to a hybrid because I feel they too are typically overpriced.

        As far as true ownership costs, maintenance, reliability, durability, etc. I don't think these cars (LEAFs) are proven yet. It's really too early to tell.

        People buy cars for a variety of reasons - price, performance, style, comfort, reliability, fuel economy, safety, etc. The LEAF has some things going for it but a lot that isn't. Until manufacturers can build all-electric vehicles that appeal to a much larger customer base, cars like the LEAF are going to be little more than "statement" cars.

        I have no problem with the concept of hybrids, all-electric vehicles, etc. but we're still a ways off from these cars making a notable dent in oil usage and environmental issues. What's being offered now simply isn't going to do it.

        Also, there is still some concern about the harmful impact the manufacture and disposal of some of the components (like batteries) unique to hybrids and electric vehicles have on the environment. That too needs to be addressed better going forward.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My last paragraph was regarding hybrid and electric vehicles as a whole and the potential issues regarding how they can be made effectively in mass down the road. Manufacturing, disposal, etc. matters will need to continue to be addressed and evaluated.

        Regarding the LEAF itself, once again it is a limited appeal vehicle that is little more than being an overpriced environmental/oil conservation "statement" car. Until hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles are competitive and appeal to a much wider base, they are basically just "symbolic gestures" and not a lot to get excited about yet. Hopefully we'll get there but it appears to be a long way off before making any meaningful difference.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why do you insist on comparing it to a Versa- the LEAF is a larger and more advanced car.

        You should compare it to the a similar-sized Fusion Hybrid or Prius, which come in over $30,000 with comparable levels of equiptment.

        However, the Leaf is a level more advanced and uses no oil, instead of less oil. No gas stations, lower total cost of ownership, virtually no noise, no fumes, heat up/cool down remotely off of grid power, recharge for pennies a day, virtually no maintenance, ability to upgrade batteries rather than buying a new car...
        • 5 Years Ago
        " Also, there is still some concern about the harmful impact the manufacture and disposal of some of the components (like batteries) unique to hybrids and electric vehicles have on the environment. That too needs to be addressed better going forward"

        Let me address some of those concerns. The LEAF uses Lithium Ion batteries, with Manganese electrodes. Lithium can either be extracted from brines, salt deposites or sea water. Lithium serves as an electrolyte (similar to salt disolved in salt water) and makes up a small fraction of the weight of the battery- it is also non-toxic. Manganese is an abundant, lightweight metal that is non-toxic (actually part of the US RDA). There are plastic separator sheets, but that is just basically a thin sheet of plastic. Aluminum for the cases is used for soda cans... All of this can be recycled. After the car has lost energy density, it can also be reused in stationary applications...

        Basically, there is more toxic material in the 12v lead acid battery of a standard car than the entire battery of the LEAF. In addition, the LEAF does not contain toxic motor oil or antifreeze- which can cause significant environmental issues and require regular replacement (leading to frequent dumping). Also, no highly combustable gasoline- which is a major safety hazard. And, of course, no tailpipe emissions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Although it is similar in proportions to the Versa (already classified as a midsize by interior volume), when measured side by side, the LEAF is 6 inches longer, 3 inches wider, an inch taller with 5 inches more wheelbase. This makes the LEAF larger than a new Prius and easily a midsized car by interior volume. The base model LEAF also has comparable to superior standard equitment to most loaded cars (the options are things that most other cars don't even offer, like a solar panel)- this isn't comparable to a stripper base model you see in other cars to reduce the advertised base price.

        Also, with the reduced cost of charging, compared to the price of gas, total cost of ownership is less than a Civic or Prius. Scheduled maintenance is practically 0 (still needs wiper fluid, tires and brake pads, although less often due to regenerative braking)
        • 5 Years Ago
        MSRP of LEAF is $33,720 w/destination charge. Add on the EVSE/charging equipment which I understand is $2,000 to $2,500 and the full price is around $36,000. Even after deducting a $7,500 tax credit, the price is still around $28,500. A comparably equipped top-line Versa 1.8SL retails for around $20,000 but would typically sell for $17,500 with current incentives.

        Yes, I realize there are other (i.e. non-financial) reasons for buying the LEAF but $11,000 is still a hefty premium. The lease offer is no deal either. Call be impressed only after these cars are offered at competitive prices WITHOUT government incentives.
      • 5 Years Ago
      too bad it is ass ugly, just because its electric doesn't mean it has to look horrible. I will take Volt please.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Nissan will sell a crap load of these.

      I live in California and the state will give you an additional $5,000 tax credit for buying this car.

      So it will be about $20,000 after the fed and state tax credits.

      PLUS, look at how much the price of a gallon of gas has risen over the past several months.

      I paid $3.09 for a gallon of 87 today.

      It ain't getting any cheaper.

      As a simple commuter car, the Leaf will be a huge hit.

      Just make sure your commute isn't longer than 50 miles one way.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The only thing you want to do with this vehicle is lease it. If you buy it you will not have any battery power left in it after 4 or 5 years. Over time the battery life will deteriorate so you will get less power out of it on every charge.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would lease/buy this not because I want to save money on gas or appear environmentally appealing. I would lease/buy a Nissan Leaf just for the fact that we need to stop relying on foreign petroleum. We need to drop the demand of oil that funds crazies such as Chavez (Venezuela), Ahmadinejad (Iran) and Putin (Russia).

      Half of our big trade deficit is due to our oil imports. Let's keep those $200-250 billion annual bill inside the U.S. by switching to U.S.-made electric power. Our own oil production should be sufficient for aviation and other petrochemical needs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah seeing as of 2008 we consume nearly 20 million barrels of oil a day... something needs to be done... NOW... or preferably should have been decades ago. Everyone who complains about the costs not adding up... how about all the money we continue to spend over in the middle east? Lives of american soldiers? The fact that we're releasing millions if not billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually... carbon that has been underground for millions of years leading to a net increase of C02 which we know to be a potent greenhouse gas. We consume 1/4 of the worlds oil yet we make up what percent of the population? Our oil addiction is appalling not only to me, but to every other country in this world. Want to decrease our deficit? Buy less oil. Yeah the ICE cars might be cheaper... but you're not paying the full price
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the only at least somewhat relevant reasons for buying hybrids and electric vehicles is for oil conservation and environmental benefits.

        Looking forward to when manufacturers can add other reasons to buy.

        • 5 Years Ago
        limited practicality and appeal? The Leaf fits the lifestyle and driving habits of at least half of this country... hardly limited
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, something definitely needs to be done but we're fooling ourselves if we think cars with limited practicality and appeal like the LEAF are going to do it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car will be a big success for Nissan. It's the perfect car for Prius drivers to keep for short around-town trips and for fleets. Expect to see lots of utilities and local governments snap these up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yup, as a non primary, city focused car, this thing is going to be an insane hit. If nissan already had a network up BETWEEN the pilot cities I'd be on the list. Great start though!
      • 5 Years Ago
      All these "you could buy x times more gas with a Versa" comments make my head spin.

      If people were buying cars rationally - we'd all be driving around in 10 year old cars we bought for $2000.

      Reality is, people buy cars for reasons other than financial ones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't disagree. People buy cars for all sorts of impractical and/or non-financial reasons. Buying a LEAF can be just as irrational as buying any other cars.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm really quite enamored with this thing and seriously thinking of getting one. All of my driving is usually less than 20 miles in a single day so I'm well within the stated range of this car. Even if I make a few errands, everything is easily within range as well here in the Bay Area..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nissan: Silently develops a working full-electric car, which is ready for production and reasonably priced.

      GM: Keeps churning out more and more propaganda about the Volt, a piece of junk that will result in a loss for each car sold, albeit its heftier price tag.
        • 5 Years Ago
        True.. i think the Volt is an image booster for GM rather than an investment in the future.
        Nobody knows about the price or profitability yet though, so....
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Silently develops a working full-electric car, which is ready for production and reasonably priced."

        You mean silently develops a full-electric car AND all of its subsystems including the battery tech. They've been working towards this goal for 25 years, though they've been quite honest about it for the last decade, It just hasn't gotten huge press.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. We should've had the Volt 2 years ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why does the ad say "be one of the first?" Why be one of the first? Why not let the price drop and get all the kinks worked out?
      • 5 Years Ago
      In the absence of the Focus EV, this will do just fine.

      Hey, Ford, get on the stick and announce reservation/production dates already!
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