This weekend the proud owner of the first all-electric Nissan Leaf in the US drove his black hatchback off the lot at North Bay Nissan in Petaluma. Olivier Chalouhi was the first person in the US to place his order for the little electric car, which is an upgrade from his regular commuter vehicle - an electric bicycle. Nissan also launched the LEAF in Arizona, Southern California, Oregon, Seattle, and Tennessee. A second batch of cars will arrive on December 20th -- just in time for the holidays. Christmas has come early for some very happy new car owners.
By the end of 2011, Nissan hopes to deliver 20,000 LEAFs to the US and 50,000 globally in response to consumer demand for more environmentally friendly vehicles. Reservations in the US are currently closed until 2011, when Nissan will begin taking orders again for the popular vehicle. Orders in the US will be filled this coming week on Tuesday in Arizona, on Wednesday in Oregon, and on Friday in Seattle. Finally, Nissan will deliver a LEAF to owners in Tennessee, where Nissan bases its US operations.
The four-door hatchback car starts out at a retail price of $25,280 after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The SL model comes with a quick-charge port for the Lithium-ion battery for an extra $700. The zero emissions vehicle, which was named the 2011 European Car of the Year certainly doesn’t sound like its gas-guzzling counterparts, but it isn’t quiet either — Chalouhi says “When you accelerate, it sounds like you have a jet engine or a turbine under the hood.” Sounds like fun.