The Nissan Leaf, which was recently named as the 2011 European Car of the Year, was officially launched in the US this past weekend and the response has been overwhelming. A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area was the lucky individual to claim the first Leaf stateside, and the other launch markets of Arizona, Southern California, Oregon, Seattle, and Tennessee are now seeing their first Leafs land to a grand reception. In fact, the new Nissan has been so sought after, that even months before its official release, over 20,000 US customers queued up in advance, pre-ordering the car.
The battery-powered car starts at $33,700, however due to the zero emissions that it emits the US government is offering tax incentives of up to $10,000 to new owners. There are also additional credits to be had in other eco-conscious states across the country, applied at their discretion.
Nissan originally created the ‘Leaf’ to test the waters for a battery powered model, but the car has been besieged with green car honours leading the company to increase capacity from an initial 50,000 to 250,000 units annually. In order to meet demand, Nissan is also planning new manufacturing units in the US and the UK, and is looking to bring the Leaf to the European continent next year.