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Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan

Nissan Leaf
Nissan's mass market EV is already sold out in the U.S.

It looks as though Nissan's all-electric Leaf is proving to be quite popular -- and it hasn't even hit U.S. streets yet. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said today that the automaker's entire production run for 2010 has been spoken for.

For the U.S., that means that Nissan has already received 13,000 orders for the Leaf. For comparison, Toyota sells roughly 12,500 Prius hybrids in a single month.

Pre-orders for the Nissan Leaf began on April 20 -- those expressing interest in buying the vehicle had to pay a $99 refundable deposit to have their name put on the list. Actual deliveries will begin in December.

“We think there is a big future for this car," said Ghosn according to the Free Press.

The Nissan Leaf will be priced from $32,780 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Depending on which state you live in, you could qualify for up to an additional $5,000 in credits or rebates.

The Nissan Leaf is powered by a 107hp electric motor and can travel at up to 87 mph. The maximum driving range for the vehicle is a modest 100 miles.

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Where do I plug it
By sandhuatdt on 5/25/2010 9:00:53 PM , Rating: 3
I live in a rented apartment and park my cars on the street. Office parking space is not setup for EV charging. So how will people like me charge these beasts?

RE: Where do I plug it
By GreenEnvt on 5/25/2010 9:10:51 PM , Rating: 5
Well, you won't buy one.
However the 10,000 people who have pre-ordered it either have garages, carports, or long extension cords :)

RE: Where do I plug it
By Oakley516 on 5/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Where do I plug it
By monkeyman1140 on 5/26/2010 12:07:05 AM , Rating: 5
Could you imagine what the auto industry would have been like in the 1900's if car buyers demanded that gasoline stations be on every corner BEFORE they buy a Ford Model-T?

RE: Where do I plug it
By tallguywithglasseson on 5/26/2010 1:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
Could you imagine what the auto industry would have been like in the 1900's if car buyers demanded that gasoline stations be on every corner BEFORE they buy a Ford Model-T?
Depends. Can I also imagine that said buyers already had cars that ran on whale oil, that got better performance, range, passenger and cargo room than the Model-T, and that there were, in fact, already whale oil stations on every corner?

RE: Where do I plug it
By acase on 5/26/2010 1:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
No, but you can imagine they had horses that ran on food, had equal speed, could go over rougher terrain, and could pull all the cargo room you could need.

RE: Where do I plug it
By muIIet on 5/26/2010 6:56:53 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah but no where to plug in my laptop.

RE: Where do I plug it
By JediJeb on 5/26/2010 12:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
It will be the same thing with EVs and/or fuel cell vehicles. Any change will not occur over night, but if the new vehicles become popular then the infrastructure will follow. The pain is going to be for the early adopters. Luckily for the Model T gasoline was already being used in small engines that powered other items. Most of those also burned kerosene since it was a more popular fuel at the time.

Most early Model T owners did not use the car for every little trip they made so constant readily available fuel was not as important at first. Once EVs prove viable, then there will be more drive to provide the infrastructure needed to support them, but don't expect too much to be available until then.

RE: Where do I plug it
By jimbojimbo on 5/26/2010 2:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well it probably wouldn't have gone over well if you had to drive to a gas station then spend 6 hours there while you fill up. Gasoline != electricity.

RE: Where do I plug it
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:11:14 PM , Rating: 3
Your right, but it does not take six hours. The EVs that are out can be charged to 80% in 5-15 minutes. Not much more than stopping at a gas station now. Plug it in, go use the restroom, shop for a bit and you will have a charge that will take you another 80 miles. Most people won't be using them for any distance driving as that is not what they are for, but you can if you want. This distance will go up a lot and charging times are dropping.

RE: Where do I plug it
By chrnochime on 5/26/2010 1:09:46 AM , Rating: 1
That's like saying everyone lives in apartments and need curbside charger....Which is not the case, otherwise WTH buys all those houses across the US anyway?

Blanket statement. Gotta love them.

RE: Where do I plug it
By CharonPDX on 5/26/2010 3:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
I work in Downtown Portland.

I work in a fairly conventional office building, nothing particularly special about it. It's not even "LEED certified" or anything.

Yet in my building's underground parking garage (wild guess: 100-200 parking spots,) there are three EV spots. All three are in use every day. (Well, every day that I've either driven or ridden my bike, anyway.)

Across the street are two of Portland's multiple on-street EV parking spots. This one has been around for years, and contains both conventional 110V U.S. Type B plugs as well as the older high-voltage inductive and conductive paddles.

Three blocks away, directly on the route I walk to and from my bus stop, are two more newer EV charging spots, which I believe only have the 110V Type B outlet. For both the old and new EV parking spots, they are specifically reserved for EVs, but you do have to pay standard parking meter rates. (You do *NOT* have to pay to use the chargers, though.)

The nearest public library to my house has an underground parking garage for maybe 20 vehicles, with one EV spot, which is in use about half the time.

There are multiple businesses (largely restaurants,) in town with EV parking spots right up front to encourage EV drivers to visit.

RE: Where do I plug it
By Oscarine on 5/26/2010 7:57:29 AM , Rating: 5
...Must be because you live in Portland, I haven't seen anything like that in an East Coast metro area.

RE: Where do I plug it
By JediJeb on 5/26/2010 12:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
The question becomes "who pays for the electricity"? If the city is paying for it, then what happens if suddenly the number of EVs in town triple or quadruple? Electricity isn't free, and if the city continued to pay for it then they would be spreading the cost over all the residents and businesses. That would not be fair to everyone unless they also provided the same service to pay for gasoline for those who didn't have EVs yet.

RE: Where do I plug it
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
They will probably retrofit parking meters with charging outlets. You will have to pay a fee for charging. Say 15 minutes for $5.00. This funding will help to offset the fuel taxes they will not be getting as well as paying for the electricity.

RE: Where do I plug it
By monkeyman1140 on 5/27/2010 3:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
In California they were free, because the electricity usage to charge them was pretty minimal anyway.
$5.00 for 15 minutes seems excessive since a "Tankful" of electricity will cost around $1.25.

I'm sure free enterprise will result in grifters charging by the minute, its the charging per text message BS all over again.

RE: Where do I plug it
By marvdmartian on 5/26/2010 9:11:26 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe, for a cleaner (neater) look, they could design a way for these cars to recharge utilizing the same technology that smaller electronics do with charging mats?? ;)

I agree totally that the EV market is short-sighted, and pretty much limited to those with a nearby electric outlet. The apartment I lived in until recently (when I bought my house) was a good 50 yards from my parking spot. No way I'd run that much extension cord!!

RE: Where do I plug it
By monkeyman1140 on 5/27/2010 3:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well early adopters always have to suffer. Remember what happened to the people that bought Vista on the day it came out.

RE: Where do I plug it
By GTVic on 5/26/2010 1:30:11 AM , Rating: 3
Instead of watching Oprah you will hook up your stationary bike/generator which you keep in the trunk and pedal your way to a full tank.

During the day you will hire homeless people to do the same thing for $3 per hour.

RE: Where do I plug it
By SimpleLance on 5/26/2010 2:31:55 PM , Rating: 3
So, the infrastructure is not there yet for everyone. But that does not mean that this will not become the mode of the future.

Consider the cell phone. Years ago, it was not for everyone. It was only for those who had coverage (i.e., near cell towers). Today, the entire country is covered.

Once EVs become very common, even apartments will have charging stations.

RE: Where do I plug it
By mAineAc on 5/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: Where do I plug it
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
expect to see parking meters with outlets in short time.

Good for Commuting
By Sunday Ironfoot on 5/25/2010 8:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds like it would be great for commuting. But at only 100 miles you'd need to keep hold of your existing combustion engine car for those occasional long journeys. Now any new car purchase would likely be part funded by selling the old car, but since this wouldn't be possible, I wonder if this would put off potential buyers.

RE: Good for Commuting
By Shig on 5/25/2010 8:39:30 PM , Rating: 3
Prius + Leaf for epic smugness ;)

RE: Good for Commuting
By Spuke on 5/25/2010 8:51:36 PM , Rating: 1
I'd buy it if I made enough money to buy a new car with cash AND if I still had a commute. Right now, I just have the commute part although I don't think this car would make it back and forth to work on my commute. Gas would have to be REALLY expensive for me to justify this as a commuter car anyways.

RE: Good for Commuting
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
You are just looking at the fuel cost. The 'engine' has no oil and virtually no upkeep cost. You will have to replace breaks and windshield washers. No coolant, no oil, no break fluid, no tuneups, no spark plugs. Fuel is only a small part of the cost.

RE: Good for Commuting
By monkeyman1140 on 5/26/2010 12:12:11 AM , Rating: 3
Leaf + Leaf

Smug beyond what is normal for smug

RE: Good for Commuting
By jimbojimbo on 5/26/2010 2:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
In Chicago traffic in the summer, with AC on, I'd give this car a 30mile range at most.

By danobrega on 5/25/2010 6:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is that like a Chinese fake for a Nissan?

RE: Nisan?
By Brandon Hill on 5/25/2010 6:24:34 PM , Rating: 5
It's actually a month in the Hebrew calendar ;-)

RE: Nisan?
By ImSpartacus on 5/25/2010 10:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well shoot, You have to give that man props for wit.

RE: Nisan?
By corduroygt on 5/25/2010 10:13:04 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Nisan?
By therealnickdanger on 5/26/2010 7:34:37 AM , Rating: 2

Good Commuter Car
By n00bxqb on 5/26/2010 3:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
As a secondary commuter car, this would be great. Tons of families have 2 or more cars and this would save a fortune in fuel and maintenance for the primary operator going to and from work. My bro just bought a Corolla as a 2nd car for this very reason as he commutes 40 km each way to work. Even at 6.7L per 100 km (5.4L per 80 km), it costs him $1620/year in fuel (@ $1.20/litre) plus oil changes ($200/year), filters, coolant, etc. ($50/year). Overall cost of operation (excluding insurance) would be about $1870/year just to go to and from work (plus insurance, of course).

Here in BC, electricity is very cheap (5.9 cents/kWh). Assuming a charging efficiency of 80% (20% of energy wasted as heat), that's approximately 15 kWh/day of energy usage to charge it for 80 km, which would work out to 3750 kWh/year and a cost of operation of $221.25/year for a net savings of approximately $1650/year.

It might take several years to make up the initial purchase price, but it might be well worth it in the long-run, especially as gasoline becomes increasingly expensive.

RE: Good Commuter Car
By Dr of crap on 5/26/2010 9:17:30 AM , Rating: 3
Taking your math a step farther.
I buy 2-4 year old cars with less than 60,000 miles on them at half the new price. They are STILL in very good shape and last 10 plus years. So for me any car over $10,000 is to much.
Subtract $7500 from $32000 and you still have an over priced car.
With $1600 a year savings it would take a very long time to make up the difference.
$24500-$10000=$14500 more than I pay
$14500 divided by $1650 year saving is about 9 years.
I'd rather have a normal gas car if it's not saving any cash!

And don't forget there are still things that can go wrong with these battery cars too. Making no savings and I can go farther than 100 miles a day, at any speed I want.
And one last bit - batteries over time will not charge up the the same potential as they would have as new.
So you have loss of power, loss of range that way!

RE: Good Commuter Car
By mcnabney on 5/26/2010 9:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
You both make good points. Buying further down the usage chain can save a lot of money. Remember that the Leaf costs about $10k (after tax credit) more than an equivalent subcompact. Even saving $1500/year is going to take seven years. Add in the fact that you are paying for that savings 'upfront' and more than likely with non-0% interest on car payments and I anticipate the true 'breakeven' point to be around a decade. Not a great financial investment when you lose the ability to take a road trip or travel moderate distances.

Of course, if a real crisis errupts in the Middle East and gasoline prices triple, the owner of a Leaf will get the last laugh.

RE: Good Commuter Car
By JediJeb on 5/26/2010 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, if a real crisis errupts in the Middle East and gasoline prices triple, the owner of a Leaf will get the last laugh.

Maybe not, it would just take the return on investment down from 10 years to about 4 years. But if something happens to an electric motor or battery at 5 years then you would probably be out everything you saved unless the warranty covers it. I'm sure repairs on the EV will be more that equivalent repairs on a normal car.

RE: Good Commuter Car
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 7:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Electric motors in EVs made 20+ years ago are still running. I would hope that warranties on electric motors would be substantially longer than internal combustion engines.

By PAPutzback on 5/26/2010 9:31:16 AM , Rating: 1
I would think that between a panel on the roof and one on the trunk it could give the car enough charge to maybe get 10 - 20 miles. About the distance the type of people that would buy this car would need it to go.

I can totally see people rolling about 5 MPH into my addition trying to make it home on the last few watts left.

By Solandri on 5/26/2010 3:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
The ROI on solar panels is typically 5-15 years, which is longer than most people keep a car. In other words, if enough people need an extra 10-20 miles, you're better off just making the battery a bit bigger. There's a widespread misconception that solar is free. The cost to receive solar energy is free. But the cost to collect it so you can do something useful with it is rather substantial at present.

By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
That is solar panels for a house. The solar panels on the car would not even be close to the size or wattage you would see on a house. If they had a solar panel on every car sold it would barely raise the cost of the vehicle and probably pay for the extra cost in a year. cars are usually parked in parking lots out in the sun all day or driving down the road in the sun.

It's the economy...
By superPC on 5/25/2010 10:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
well no wonder this sell well. it only cost 2.4$ for the whole 100 mile trip ( that's hard to beat (at the moment impossible even) in a gasoline car.

I guess some people chose overnight charge up (with 2.4$ per 100 mile trip) over the convenience of 5 minutes gas fill up and I can understand their reasoning.

Like the old saying goes: it's the economy. in the past nissan wouldn't even sell 100 of this kind of vehicle, but now with the weak economy and high gas price this turn out to be a viable solution for 13000 people.

RE: It's the economy...
By JediJeb on 5/26/2010 12:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
But a normal 100 mile trip in a gasoline car would cost $12 at current prices and 25mpg. Yes it is a difference of $9.60 per 100 mile trip, and if you did that everyday for work it would be $192 per month. If you sell your current car to buy this one for the savings, will you be able to get it at a payment for $192/month even considering your trade in? If not you are losing money instead of saving money with this purchase.

I'd buy it
By corduroygt on 5/26/2010 8:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
If I am in the market for a new car and the government is paying 1/3 rd of it for me, why not? The $7500 federal + a few grand state tax credit won't reduce the used price by that same amount, you can probably drive it for a year and sell it without losing any money.

RE: I'd buy it
By mcnabney on 5/26/2010 9:51:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, no. Unless demand exceeds production the sale of a Leaf will never exceed the MSRP minus tax credits.

Now if your state gave you an extra $5k you probably could make some money reselling in a state without a subsidy.

"sold out"
By xprojected on 5/26/2010 10:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
"Sold out" is a great marketing ploy.. worked wonders for the iPhone, Wii, and others.

1. Gauge demand.
2. Build less than demand.
3. ZOMG sold out everybody wants one!@#

RE: "sold out"
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 6:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. They produce less for a year than Toyota sells Prius' in a month.

By XSpeedracerX on 5/25/2010 7:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
Can't say I saw this coming. Keeping the momentum up beyond the honeymoon phase would be an even more impressive trick. Lets see if they can pull that off...

Wish somebody else sold this
By Howard on 5/25/2010 10:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not too confident in its reliability

By Goty on 5/26/2010 1:33:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's got at least one thing going for it: it looks a hell of a lot better than that "Cube" monstrosity Nissan has been selling.

By monkeyman1140 on 5/27/2010 3:34:06 AM , Rating: 2
Drag racing for example. Electric cars are incredibly fast, and I wonder how the audiences will deal with the fast dominance of electric drag racers over gasoline wheel spinners.

By callmeroy on 5/28/2010 10:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
Alternative energy'll happen but we have a VERY long time before anything takes over gas stations to any major degree.

Right now electric cars/hybrids make little financial sense in the long term. Upfront cost is higher than the standard ICE counterpart, the batteries when they go are several thousand dollars to replace, the scarcity of charging stations make it a hassle....

And I have some "shallow" peeves against electric as well...

1 ) I like the nice "purr" of a well tuned ICE engine....I just don't like the electic "buzz" sound...what's the fun in that?

2) Speed / power....and BEFORE someone says something ridiculous and points out a car like Tesla....that may be true...but take a look at the price tag...$100k.

It shouldn't take $100k to get the performance out of an electric car that I can get for FAR FAR less money out of an ICE based car.

.....and you think the petroleum industry is gonna easily roll over and die?

Leaf EV Fast Charge
By TechRealist on 6/1/2010 1:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
How about a dose of reality here. Fast charging is possible. Just not very likely on a widespread or affordable basis. If EV's do become popular & charging stations proliferate it won't be 5 minutes to 80% full. If you get 6 EV's at a station pulling 50 to 70 amps at once that is a lot more power than can readily be accommodated. Plus, the cost of prime time charging is going to be very expensive. That is why the push has been for overnight, off-peak charging. And don't believe the nonsense of EV's & PHEV's used for electrical load leveling or smart grid applications. Every time the batteries go through a charge/discharge cycle its useful life is shortened.

A sucker is born every minute....
By AEvangel on 5/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: A sucker is born every minute....
By Josh7289 on 5/25/2010 7:30:13 PM , Rating: 5
What are you trying to say?

By retrospooty on 5/25/2010 10:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
apparently it was not "nuff" because I have no clue what he meant either.

RE: A sucker is born every minute....
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2010 9:25:05 AM , Rating: 1
I think it's pretty obvious. If you buy an electric car at this point, you are an idiot. But hey, more power to you. You paid more for a car that does much less, based on some ideological premise some snake oil salesman filled your head with.

RE: A sucker is born every minute....
By wiz220 on 5/26/2010 12:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
But people here on DT are always talking about choice and competition being good right? So if someone makes the choice to purchase one of these vehicles (even if it is for ideological reasons) that's fine.

By AEvangel on 5/27/2010 2:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
But people here on DT are always talking about choice and competition being good right? So if someone makes the choice to purchase one of these vehicles (even if it is for ideological reasons) that's fine.

You have every right to spend your money as you see fit, I'm all for a free market, you just need to remove the $7,500 tax credit. Like my original post said "a sucker is born every minute", I just don't want to have to subsidize the suckers.

By jimbojimbo on 5/26/2010 2:09:54 PM , Rating: 1
Why would you care? Look at it this way. If there are enough EV vehicles out there the demand for gasoline would go down and that should theoretically reduce cost... then again those fuckers at APEC will probably reduce pumping so keep the demand the same.

By BigBitch on 5/26/2010 5:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone who buys one of these, helps fund the market of alternative fuels. However, they're still an idiot because they put a draw on the power stations which are primarely fueled by coal and other "not so green" fuels. And IIRC, Gasoline burns much cleaner than coal.

By monkeyman1140 on 5/27/2010 3:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people bought Hummers too, and now that car is a social and economic pariah. I don't think its up to you to judge what people should and shouldn't buy, the market will determine that.

RE: A sucker is born every minute....
By tcjake on 5/27/2010 10:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
I was notified I am getting one in December.

I am not doing this to save money, I am not doing this to calculate an ROI to the 6th decimal place. I am doing this because I think it's cool and I need a new car in December, so why not get something unique.

I have always had unique cars, I hate having the same car as millions of maybe I am an idiot.

I got the 328xi WAGON just because nobody had a wagon...I had a Mitsubishi Montero because in MI no one had one.

Now in FL I will have a LEAF, I drive 42 miles round trip to work. One charge will be fine.

It's idiots like me that beta test all this stuff for you so that the second and third generation is affordable for you.

Your welcome.

RE: A sucker is born every minute....
By AEvangel on 5/27/2010 2:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's idiots like me that beta test all this stuff for you so that the second and third generation is affordable for you.

Don't kid yourself electric cars will never be truly affordable nor will they be a true green alternative. Simply having kept your old BMW would have been tons better for the environment then this Leaf will ever be.

By tcjake on 5/27/2010 6:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Are you a senior design engineer on the Nissan Team, know something the rest of us don't?

Please tell me what I should do, how I should live my life, what products to buy.

Didn't some guy at IBM in the 50's say there is only the need for 4 computers world-wide and they will never be affordable? How did that work out?

I'm not kidding myself..I know exactly what I am doing, I'm getting a LEAF.

I DON'T care about the environmental impact of the LEAF vs. other cars. Can you's what I want because it's unique and $500 less then my BMW. My mid-life crisis is over, I zipped around in my BMW and now I want something completely different.

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