Just a friendly, EV enthusiast reminder: the official process of buying a new Nissan LEAF starts tomorrow! Up until now the world of LEAF waiting lists involved a non-committal “interest” list that you could sign up for through the Nissan website. Although there are now 115,000 people on that list, it in no way put you in line for a LEAF… but it did keep you abreast of any LEAF news.
Tomorrow that all changes as Nissan will begin accepting $99 deposits towards the purchase of a LEAF, which will place you in line to get your LEAF when it goes on sale in your area. It’ll be interesting to see how many of those 115,000 people translate into actual LEAF reservations. That, in-and-of-itself, may be the best indicator of how well the LEAF will do.
If you’re already on the Nissan LEAF interest list, you’ll receive an email from Nissan at some point between 1 and 6 PM Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow with a link enabling you to start the process. The link will take you to a site that asks you to create an account, customize your ideal LEAF, and answer a few basic driving profile questions. At the end of the process, you’ll be asked to pay $99 to hold your reservation and choose your preferred dealer (if you have one).
By way of a little recap, as one of the first mass-market electric cars of this new era of plug-in vehicles, the LEAF has a very affordable base price of $32,780, which, after a federal tax credit of $7,500 and various state tax incentives — like a $5,000 tax rebate in California, a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia and a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon — could be in the realm of 20-25K when all is said and done. Nissan is able to offer the LEAF for a $349 monthly lease as well.
Based on initial consumer interest, by June 30 Nissan will let you know when you’ll likely be able to buy your LEAF. Certain areas of the U.S. have been given guaranteed access to the LEAF first — such as Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Tennessee — but Nissan has said they will be introducing new markets every month during 2011 so that by early 2012 virtually the entire country will be covered. I’m guessing that the more people that sign up from a given area, the more likely that area will be to get the LEAF before others.
Some sad news for the super enthusiasts among you: if you were hoping to get one LEAF for you, one LEAF for your spouse/partner, one LEAF for your kid, and one for your dog, you’re out of luck… Nissan has explicitly said they will only be allowing one LEAF reservation per household. So not enough LEAFs per household to build a tree yet. You’ll just have to wait.