• Aug 24th 2010 at 8:03AM
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Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last week, we brought you that startling story regarding the possibility that Nissan, in a move to meet high demand in Japan, allegedly decided to limit U.S. allocation of Leafs to just 3,300 units by the end of March. Thankfully, the story, which stemmed from the words of the general manager of Mossy Nissan, turned out to be more rumor than reality. Nissan has now responded by stating that the dealer's comments were:
Purely speculative on Mossy's part. ... production allocation is based on number of customer orders. Our order window opens in a few weeks. The general manager has no special insight.
To our relief, Nissan has once again reinforced the fact that the company plans to deliver nearly 25,000 Leafs to the U.S. by the end of 2011. Speaking with Nissan's director of product planning, Mark Perry, our friends over at Nissan-Leaf unearthed some additional production insight and, as Perry told them, Nissan is "still targeting 25,000 reservations by December 2010 and will be able deliver most during (the) model year." Perry added that Nissan "expects and is planning for (a) high percentage of reservations to convert to orders but will have solid forecast in a few months." WIth those words coming straight from the company, worrywarts can breathe an official sigh of relief. It appears that the 3,300 number is out the door and we're back to the 25,000 units we predicted some time ago.

[Source: Nissan-Leaf]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to nitpick your post here. One person said that Nissan was going to delivery 3,300 units by March 2011 and the Nissan says they are going to deliver "nearly" 25,000 units by the end of 2011. These statements are not mutually exclusive. Nissan said the statement was speculation but did not refute it. Nissan *could* deliver only 3,300 cars by March and then ramp up slightly to 2,000 or so cars per month for the rest of the year and have both statements be true.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Insurance companies are inherently conservative in their rate fixing.
      A major determinant of insurance rates is how expensive they are to fix.
      The insurance companies will look through the prices of replacement parts, but will until they have experience err on the side of caution, as they have not got a proper accident and repair data base on electric cars.
      Although distances are shorter, EV's will be driven in more urban environments and most accidents occur within 5 miles of the home.
      I'd shop around as it seems likely that one company or another will decide to specialise in EV's and offer better rates than the market in general.
      A lot of companies try to discourage business they do not specialise in, by setting very high rates, as insurance is a numbers game and they like known risks that they have a good understanding of.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd love to hear from some GM EV1 owners... oh wait...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd be curious to hear from RAV4 EV & Ranger EV owners on how their rates compare to the ICE versions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think the LEAF will be too expensive to fix for your average fender bender. The bumpers are pretty significant and there isn't very much in the way of expensive parts in the front of the car untill you get all the way back to the electric motor/inverter. If you were in an accident that came close to damaging the batteries, the frame of the car would already be ruined and would need to be totalled anyway.

        Although some people have been critical of all of the use of conventional materials in the car, fixing a steel fender or replacing a steel structural piece is far cheaper and easier than replacing one made out of aluminum or composites. And it seems they will be making enough of these that parts should not be too hard to come by in a couple of years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Envy = No Gas Bill.
      I wonder if EV's will get the great insurance rates hybrids are getting?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What normally affects insurance rates. Your age, driving record, where you live, and the cost to repair a vehicle due to an accident. As the Leaf is new, and an EV, my guess is repair costs will be high. How many body shops will be able (and willing) to repair one in after an accident?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Many accidents of ICEs occur due to technical failure

        You mean the nut that holds the steering wheel?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since a bev has a limited range and will be used mostly for commuting short distances it will probably be driven far fewer miles. Most insurance companies give a discount if the vehicle is driven less miles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One other thing that could help with insurance: limited top speed. This not only will reduce the ability for idiots to drive like idiots but will also reduce the desire of idiots to buy one.

        Due to a flat torque curve, the maximum rated horsepower is not as high as performance would suggest- which may also figure into their calculations.

        Also, the LEAF has virtually every form of computer aid to retain traction (traction control, stability control, ABS, EBD, etc.) so it should do well in that regard.

        Four door hatchbacks also tend to get lower insurance..

        Nissan also claims to be shooting for a 5 star crash rating and has a lot of airbags, which should also help.

        In addition, you would figure a more educated and responsible group of consumers would be purchasing a LEAF than the general population.

        I think the insurance should end up being pretty reasonable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        However, insurance companies could say some BS about EVs being more expensive to fix, or having to be sent to specialized body shops.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Many accidents of ICEs occur due to technical failure. An electric motor is much more reliable than a combustion engine subsequently accident rates based on such failures schould diminish; ergo, the overall accident rate should diminish as well. Following this reasoning, what effect could be expected for insurance rates?
        • 5 Years Ago
        insurance rates are, more than anything else
        a) a function of you (the individual)
        b) a function of where (you live)
        c) a function of the car type: sport/highspeed / large 4x4/ really expensive vs. cheap - a indirect measure of speed/power/"crazy" factor on the vehicle - etc.

        Insurance companies probably don't care too much about accidents based on engine failure - it's a small percentage - perhaps some, I'd be curious to get internal ins. company data.
        What they probably do notice however: is that most hybrid drivers aren't poppin' wheelies, and doing 360s, etc... (um, Insurance companies: do NOT watch the Fisker Karma ad).... which translates into lower insurance

        Exception: Tesla insurance is quite higher than ... my crappy compact SUV, for example, due to points 1 and 3 above, would be my guess (e.g. how many Tesla owners are male? That's a red flag on your record, right there...)

        • 5 Years Ago
        One other point, most accidents are due to driver error, not mechanical failure. People may claim mechanical error, but inattentiveness and just bad driving cause far more accidents than the off quoted "brake failure".
        • 5 Years Ago
        >One other thing that could help with insurance: limited top speed. This not only will reduce the ability for idiots to drive like idiots...

        Along the same lines, an enforced minimum speed (perhaps via GPS) would be nice as well. Technically, it's not possible to do it, but a[n] EV/Hybrid in the left lane doing 52 in a 55 causes more accidents than so-called idiots driving 75-80 with the flow of traffic.

        The solution where everybody wins is to make it illegal to be driving so slowly that you cause passing-on-the-right. I can't get good gas mileage if I'm not in my top gear.

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