Nissan’s first mass produced all electric car, the Nissan Leaf is expected to have have at least 20,000 customers in the United States before even hitting showrooms in the third quarter of next year.
“We are confident we will have 20,000 reservations for the Leaf by the time it goes on sale,” Carlos Tavares, Nissan’s chairman for the Americas, said today.
In order for the cars to work in a city environment, a recharging grid must be available to bring the Leaf back to life. In the United States Nissan has worked with authorities to have the infestructure ready prior to launch.
The Leafs delivered to US customers will initially be imported from Japan but starting in 2012 they will be built in Tennessee where Nissan has invested over $2.5 billion ($2 billion USD) to manufacture 150,000 Leafs a year and 200,000 lithium ion batteries, starting in late 2012.
The Nissan Leaf’s electric motor is capable of 80kW and 280Nm of torque, it will manage 160km on one full charge which takes eight hours however Nissan says a 30 minute charge will still get the car around 120km.
As far as Australian customers go, the car is expected to arrive here in 2012 if the infestracture can be put in place to support electric vehicles. Melbourne and Canberra will be the first cities expected to be Lead friendly.
Pricing wise, it will compete against its Japanese rivals and similarily attract a higher premium.