Starting next spring, Nissan plans to begin taking orders of its upcoming Leaf electric vehicle. By the time the first car is ready to be delivered to a paying customer in the fall, the Japanese automaker expects to have taken some 20,000 initial reservations – well over the 5,000 Leafs Nissan has committed to lease in 2010. In other words, if you really want one, you may want to consider getting your order in early.
Nissan will launch the Leaf next year in the states of Tennessee and Oregon, along with San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; and the Phoenix/Tucson region in Arizona. Each of those five locations has pledged to install 2,500 electric vehicle charging stations in expectation of a thousand or so new electric Leafs roaming their streets.
For the first two years or so, Nissan plans to import all U.S.-bound Leafs from Japan. By 2012, the automaker plans to have completed a $2 billion investment into its factory in Smyrna, TN that will allow for the production of 150,000 electric vehicles and 200,000 lithium ion batteries per year. This will be funded, in part, by the DOE loan Nissan was awarded in June.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd]