2011 Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Right now, saying that the individuals who pre-ordered Nissan Leaf EVs are a little disappointed about the slow rate of deliveries would easily catapult you to reigning monarch of the nation of understaters. After the Japanese automaker happily snapped up over 20,000 pre-orders for the electric hatch ( too many?), the company managed to deliver a paltry 19 in December. No, not 19,000. Just 19. Not surprisingly, the internet has erupted into a rousing chorus of conspiracy about the hold up, with everything from cars being held at the docks for wiring repairs to Nissan holding vehicles so that the Japanese market can be satiated first. As it turns out, none of that is true.

The hang up boils down to a good old-fashioned corporate slip up. Instead of parceling out the allotment of Leaf EVs to dealers like manufacturers typically do, Nissan decided to go with a more democratic but experimental online pre-ordering program. As a result, those who were first in line got the first cars. Everyone else has been left out in the cold.

According to PlugInCars.com, Nissan says that in hindsight, it could have handled the vehicle's launch better. Moving forward, as production ramps up, the company says that it will likely return to a more traditional dealer model for the Leaf, and that in six months time, few people will remember the hang up. Nissan says that while there have been some cancellations as a result of the delays, the company believes that it's been a relatively small number compared to overall reservations. The company has promised to have " everyone in their Leaf" by end of summer.

Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Sources: Jalopnik, PlugInCars.com]

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