Renault-Nissan set to market electric vehicles in December in U.S.

In a statement directed at some 17,000 potential Nissan LEAF electric car buyers in the United States, Nissan announced that the world’s first affordable electric cars will be available to customers in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee, home to the EV Project — the largest electric vehicle and infrastructure deployment the car manufacturer has ever undertaken.

The customers represent more than 55 percent of total Nissan LEAF reservations, the company said. Customers in these states can begin to place orders starting in August.

"We are pleased to see so many people making a choice for a zero-emission future by placing reservations for the Nissan LEAF," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America. "Consumer feedback and market readiness have been key drivers in developing our phased rollout. Nissan is able to target areas of customer demand for early launch, while continuing to work in future markets to ensure the continued success of electric vehicles."

Then, the new electric car will be available to buyers in Texas and Hawaii in January 2011, followed by other states in April 2011 and the roll-out is set to be completed by the end of the year.

According to Nissan, customers who have placed their reservations online are attracted mainly by the following characteristics: energy independence (35 percent); environmental consciousness (34 percent); and cost/fuel economy (20 percent).

The EV Project is a result of a partnership with charging infrastructure provider ECOtality and partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

An compact all-electric 5-door hatchback, LEAF — an acronym for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family Car — has the advantages of producing no tail pipe pollution, lessening dependence on oil, and its total cost of ownership improves in comparison as the price of gasoline rises. In January 2010 the LEAF received the Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal. The price starts at 32,780 dollars in the U.S..

The lithium-ion battery pack that powers the Nissan LEAF will carry a warranty of eight years or 160,000 km to match U.S. market ‘s competitive conditions, Nissan said.

Consumers who have reserved the Nissan LEAF online will be invited to place orders through their dealer for the vehicle in advance of market roll-out timing, allowing time for consumers to select a dealer and assess home charging needs.

Nissan is continuing to take reservations for the Nissan LEAF through its website. Customers have to pay a 99 dollars fully refundable fee to secure a spot on the list to place an order.

Source: Xinhua,