And just like that, we have proof that the upcoming Nissan LEAF will be a big seller. Today I got a quick note from Nissan spokesperson, Katherine Zachary, who wrote to tell me that as of this morning 6,635 people have plunked down the $99 refundable deposit to get in line for the first truly affordable, mass market electric car ever available… myself included.
By way of comparison, Ford only had 1,000 reservations for the 2011 Ford Fiesta during its first week available for pre-order back in December. And, arguably, Ford spent way more time on social marketing with their “Fiesta Movement” than Nissan has. Plus, Ford didn’t even ask for a deposit. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to me that bodes very well about how successful the LEAF will be its first year out.
According to Zachary, “People were primed and ready.” In the first 3 hours alone they had about 2,700 reservations come in. As she also said, there were “no surprises” on where these first reservations have come from, with fully 75% of all reservations representing the initial LEAF markets and a huge amount coming from California and other West Coast states. Makes me feel a lot of pride for my West Coast compadres. Based on the initial numbers, it starts to be understandable why the reservation system had a few initial hiccups.
The reservation system will only be open to the 115,000 “interest list” subscribers until May 15th, at which point it will open up to general reservations. It’s a first-come, first-serve list based on geography, so if you want to be one of the people to get a LEAF first (or maybe even in the first year) you should get on that list now… because with these numbers Nissan will likely sell out all of their 50,000 vehicle target for 2011.