Report: Nissan taking early orders for its LEAF electric vehicle

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

Purchasing Nissan's Leaf pure-electric vehicle is a four-part process and the carmaker wants to make sure that potential customers how to go about it by announcing an outline. Delivery is set to start in December in some markets. Registration can be made online. Customers can then reserve a Leaf starting in April and order one in August.

Nissan has yet to reveal which markets will be the first recipients of the vehicle. Interestingly, the process coincides with the end of a 24-city U.S. and Canada Leaf marketing tour in New York.

Nissan said that so far, 50,000 people have registered online. Pricing for the Leaf will be announced in April; this will also be the time that it will open reservations accompanied by a refundable $100 deposit.

And in August, consumers can inform Nissan about plans to either lease or purchase a Leaf. Nissan sells the Leaf and home charging stations as well.

Production of the Leaf and its battery pack will begin by 2012 at the Smyrna, Tenn. plant. The plant's conversion and construction of a batter plant will begin in May for the plant after Nissan closed on a $1.4 billion loan with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Hertz Corp. has stated that it plans to rent the Nissan Leaf in selected markets in the US and Europe starting in early 2011.

The sharp, upright V-shaped face of the new Nissan Leaf is marked by long, up-slanting LED (light-emitting diode) headlights that employ a blue internal reflective design. Nissan designed these headlights to split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, for reduced levels of aerodynamic drag and wind noise. Furthermore, the nature of these headlamps as LED units help the new Leaf achieve its superb levels of range autonomy, since their electricity consumption is just 10 percent that of conventional lamps.

Bright interior trim colors allow the new Nissan Leaf to offer an enjoyable yet stylish cabin. It features the "blue earth" color theme, which is derived from the Aqua Globe body color of the original Nissan Leaf. This color theme is evident in the cabin interior through blue dashboard highlights and blue instrument illumination.

An exclusive advanced IT system is installed in the new Nissan Leaf. By connecting to a global data center, this IT system offers support, information, and entertainment for drivers anytime of the day. The Leaf features a dash-mounted monitor that displays the "reachable area" – or its remaining power – and a list of nearby charging stations. Amazingly, drivers could use their mobile phones to turn on air-conditioning and set charging functions, even when the EV is powered down. Likewise, drivers can pre-program an on-board remote-controlled timer to recharge the batteries of the Leaf.

Chief Product Specialist Tooru Abe remarked that the IT system in the Leaf is a critical advantage. He noted that the IT features in the Leaf would allow the EV to be both a partner for the driver and an enhancement for the passengers. In addition, these IT features would allow the Leaf to help create a zero-emission community.

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