As we saw yesterday, the first Nissan Leaf was delivered to a non-celebrity customer yesterday in San Francisco. The lucky new owner, Olivier Chalouhi, lives in the Bay Area and just happened to be the first person to get his order in back when Nissan opened up the process to Leaf handraisers in late August. Chalouhi is the chief technology officer of the stealth (for now) start-up Fanhattan, which has something to do with "the connected TV space."
According to Plug In Cars, Chalouhi only recently had a Level 2 charger installed in his rental house – for a while he was planning on only using a standard outlet because he only expects to drive his Leaf 20 miles a day. Nissan is proud of this delivery, releasing a statement that said, "This groundbreaking moment represents the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era." The statement also said:
Away from the bright lights, though, it is beginning to look like there might be some delays in getting big shipments to people who ordered a Leaf. A glance at the My Nissan Leaf discussion forum shows that there is a lot of confusion over when the bulk of the vehicles will actually be delivered. And Wards Auto says that Nissan, "will push back launching the electric vehicle in some 'additional markets.'" Nissan has not yet responded directly to our question on the timing of widespread deliveries, but the statement about Chalouhi does say:The San Francisco Bay Area events kicked off more than a week of festivities, as Nissan delivers the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to each of its primary launch markets in Southern California, Arizona, Oregon, Seattle and Tennessee.
We're quite curious to see what the deal is. Compared to some of the failures to come through on promises made in the electric vehicle industry, we have to say that at least Nissan has delivered the first Leaf on time, which is a big deal. Let's hope the others aren't too far behind. Also, compared to the rest of the big OEMs, Nissan has most certainly done something they've been afraid to do: start making EVs. That's something worth celebrating. To get you in the mood, check out AutoblogGreen reader Chris' video upload of the Nissan live stream from the event after the jump.In order to fulfill interest and meet demand in initial launch markets, Nissan plans to reopen reservations in the first half of 2011 as well as shift timing of additional markets until the second half of 2011.