Nissan LEAF first will be available to consumers in December, in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. These areas are home to The EV Project – the largest electric vehicle and infrastructure deployment ever undertaken.
The EV Project is a result of a partnership with charging infrastructure provider ECOtality and partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Customers in these first five launch states, who represent more than 55 percent of total Nissan LEAF reservations, will be able to place firm orders for the Nissan LEAF starting in August.
Nissan LEAF will be introduced to Texas and Hawaii shortly thereafter, in January 2011; North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama follow in April 2011; and be rolled-out to the balance of the nation beginning in Fall 2011 with availability in all markets nationwide by the end of that year.
"We are pleased to see so many people making a choice for a zero-emission future by placing reservations for the Nissan LEAF," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America. "Consumer feedback and market readiness have been key drivers in developing our phased rollout. Nissan is able to target areas of customer demand for early launch, while continuing to work in future markets to ensure the continued success of electric vehicles."
Nissan North America also is informing its consumers that the lithium-ion battery pack that powers the Nissan LEAF will carry a warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles – matching U.S. market competitive conditions.
Consumers who have reserved the Nissan LEAF online will be invited to place orders through their dealer for the vehicle in advance of market roll-out timing, allowing time for consumers to select a dealer and assess home charging needs. Nissan is continuing to take reservations for the Nissan LEAF through its website, www.NissanUSA.com. Interested consumers are encouraged to place a reservation, which entails a $99 fully refundable fee to secure a spot on the list to place an order.
The reservations process has educated Nissan about more than just geographic distribution. Some information we've learned about future Nissan LEAF drivers includes:
* Favorite color: The favorite color of Nissan LEAF owners is blue. More than 30 percent of reservations are for blue Nissan LEAF electric cars. Silver is a close second, at about 26 percent. The remaining reservations are close to evenly split among red, black and white.
* Trim level: About 75 percent of Nissan LEAF orders are for the SL trim level, which adds a rearview monitor, solar panel spoiler, fog lights, and automatic headlights.
* Home and Parking: About 75 percent of people who placed reservations own a single-family home. About 68 percent have attached garages, while an additional 18 percent have detached garages or carports. Home ownership and dedicated parking are important factors for Nissan LEAF drivers who plan to charge their vehicles at home.
* Purchase time: About 67 percent of Nissan LEAF reservations holders have indicated that they'd be ready to purchase or lease a Nissan LEAF within one year of placing the reservation. An additional 24 percent indicated they would be ready in one to two years.
* Interests: Several primary interests are inspiring people to order a Nissan LEAF. Cited interests include energy independence (35 percent); environmental consciousness (34 percent); and cost/fuel economy (20 percent).