Nissan has begun taking $99 registrations for its all-electric Leaf, and the early results are very encouraging. The Japanese automaker has reportedly already received 7,000 pre-orders in the U.S. and another 4,000 orders in Japan. Nissan had been expecting pre-sales of roughly 20,000 vehicles, and early pre-sales show that the initial estimates may have undershot reality. Whatcar? reports that orders have been so strong that Nissan expects that it won't be able to fulfill demand for its emissions-free vehicle when it hits dealerships in late Fall. The 11,000 hand-raisers Nissan currently has in the bank doesn't include any buyers from the UK, as our across the Pond allies aren't eligible to pre-order the Leaf until July.
Nissan reportedly claims that its forthcoming EV will be cheaper to buy and run than the king of the hybrid hill, Toyota's Prius. The Leaf will carry an MSRP of $32,780 (plus $2,200 for the charger) when it goes on sale, which is closer in price to the Lexus HS 250h than the Prius, though government tax breaks of $7,500 per all-electric vehicle brings the base price down to a much more manageable $25,280.