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 tomorrow 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.

UPDATE: Whoops, we had trouble with our calendar. Registrations start Tuesday, April 20. Also, Nissan has released a press release saying about 115,000 people are already on the early email list. Wow.

[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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