Nissan has just announced its roll-out plan for the zero-emission Leaf, the first electric car built on a large scale. You may be lucky, or you may not, because this new model will not be available nationwide before late next year. The first deliveries will start in December this year, with the initial launch markets limited to 5-states: California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. If you live in Texas or Hawaii, you will have to wait one month more. The Nissan Leaf will then be available to consumers in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama in April 2011. But if you happen to live in another state, you will have to wait till the fall of 2011.
We certainly understand that it takes some time to organize the launch of a new model in a country as big as the US, but some manufacturers are doing it faster… We shall also think of low volume cars, such as Nissan’s own 370Z, which will get less customers than the Leaf, but was available nationwide much faster. This is where we realize that electric cars are still far from being mainstream.
Nissan’s working hard to make the car available to all, but we’ve never seen a gasoline car requiring so long to be available nationwide. I hope that in a few years, when a manufacturer will bring a new electric model to the market, it will be available everywhere at the same time. Only then, will we be able to say that the time of the electric car has come.
Nissan has already received nearly 17,000 reservations for the Leaf, with more than half in the initial launch markets.