Nissan has revealed that pre-orders of the Nissan LEAF EV are already at 19,000, almost twice the anticipated first year production.
Nissan has an aim to build more electric cars than anyone else – and sooner. And that aim has had a big boost with news that there have already been 19,000 pre-orders for the Nissan LEAF - 6,000 from Japan and 13,000 from the US – which is almost twice as many cars as Nissan were planning on building in the first year.
Production of the LEAF is not due to start until later this year in Japan and Nissan had been anticipating first year production of around 10,000 cars. They may have to revise that in light of the interest already shown, particularly as the LEAF has not yet been offered outside the US and Japan, even though a big chunk will be built in the UK. Perhaps Nissan LEAF production in Sunderland will need to be brought forward from the planned 2013 start?
But Nissan aren’t getting carried away with the pre-orders. They are talking to those who’ve signed up to make sure they know exactly what they’re getting, and to manage their expectations. And it seems likely that Nissan will be getting round the 90% depreciation on electric cars recently forecast by Glass’s Guide by offering lease facilities directly
Many media have portrayed the EV as the replacement for the internal combustion engine, which of course it’s not and – as Honda have been quoted as saying – the technology won’t make that possible for at least 20 years. So Nissan are managing expectations with the sign-ups to make sure the buyers want a car that can manage short daily distances in a relatively confined area. No point buying a LEAF if you have a 300 mile commute.
But it’s certainly a healthy start for the Nissan LEAF.