Nissan is stepping up its promotional efforts for its 2011 LEAF electric vehicle, which the automaker plans to launch this December. The compact hatch was first revealed last August and since then has been doing the rounds of public fairs and small scale drive days across the country as part of the Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Tour, which ended in New York today.
Now, Nissan is ramping up for the start of the vehicle-purchase process. Nissan has confirmed that the LEAF will be available to consumers via lease or sale, in a single transaction that includes the battery. The automaker hopes to eventually build up to 150,000 LEAF electric vehicles at its plant in Smyrna, Tennessee but initially numbers will be limited so if you're hoping to be amongst the first to purchase one you will need to register at www.NissanUSA.com. Registrants will be given first priority to reserve a Nissan LEAF and already more than 50,000 people have signed up.
The next step will be the reservation process, which kicks off in April along with the release of pricing details. Upon paying a fully refundable $100 reservation fee, registrants will be among the first in line able to order a Nissan LEAF.
Nissan will finally begin taking firm orders in August, for deliveries when sales begin in the buyer’s particular market. Most cars are expected to roll-out in December, with vehicles available in all major launch markets quickly thereafter.
The 2011 Nissan Leaf is tipped to cost around $25,000 to $30,000 and according to the automaker it guarantees a range of over 100 miles on a single charge. Additionally, the zero-emission vehicle should provide reasonable performance, on par with other cars in the economy hatchback class, and its electric battery pack can generate output of up to 120 horsepower while its electric motor delivers 107 horsepower of output and 206 pound-feet of torque--figures typical of many smaller and medium-sized cars.
For more details, including driving impressions, check out our preview story by clicking here.