According to Mark Perry, Nissan North America's director of product planning, the company has already secured over 8,000 reservations in the U.S. for the upcoming Leaf electric vehicle and is well on its way to book 25,000 orders by year end. The reservation period opened up on April 20, just ten days ago. Even though the initial U.S. launch will be limited to select states such as California, Arizona, Washington, Tennessee and Oregon, demand is high across much of the nation. Initially, Leaf sales will be limited by Nissan's manufacturing capacity until the U.S. plant in Tennessee comes on-line, allowing the company to meet the strong demand.
There's has been a significant amount of debate regarding whether or not automakers could profit off of electric vehicles. Many reports have suggested that mainstreams EVs, like the Leaf, would be sold for a lost for many years to come. But Perry told AutoblogGreen – and, now Reuters – that Nissan makes a profit selling the Leaf for $25,280 (after a $7,500 federal tax credit off of the $32,780 price). And, if Nissan is profiting from each Leaf sold, it must be thrilled to be on track for 25,000 pre-orders by the end of the year. Perry said Nissan is "on a double time march (for launch). We are on our way to have 25,000 firm orders by December."
We'd like to add our take on this demand and profit. It appears as though Nissan has now proven that demand exists for electric vehicles and a profit can be made. These two aspects alone should convince more automakers that electric vehicles are no longer a risky decision, so bring us more!