Seven months before it goes on sale, Nissan has announced that its Leaf electric car is sold out for the first year. Just a little more than a month after the automaker started taking pre-orders, it reached the 13,000 reservation mark. 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.
In a recent interview, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said "We think there is a big future for this car. I can already tell you that the production for 2010 is already sold out."
The five-passenger 2011 Nissan Leaf is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries that manage to develop 90 kW, while its electric motors produce 80 kW/280 Nm of torque and can travel up to 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge. It takes eight hours to charge on a standard outlet, though the charging time drops if you use Nissan's quick charging station.
The Leaf will be offered in two trim levels: the base SV model, priced at $32,780 ($25,280 after a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500) packs the car with navigation system and Internet/smart phone connectivity, LED headlights, Bluetooth, Intelligent-key with push button start, Sirius/XM satellite radio, dynamic control (stability control), traction control and six airbags. The top trim level, the SL, priced at $33,720 ($26,220 after the tax credits), comes with rearview monitor, solar panel spoiler, fog lights and automatic headlights.
Ecstatic over the Leaf's great reception, Nissan is planning to expand its electric vehicle line-up. According to the Detroit Free Press, "Nissan and its alliance partner Renault expect to build 500,000 electric vehicles, encompassing eight models, by 2013."
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