Nissan announced with glee yesterday it had hit a happy milestone in the development of its upcoming Leaf electric car. The Japanese automaker reached its 20,000th reservation for the 100 percent electric car, completing the first phase of customer reservations in the car’s roll out plans.
Nissan had originally anticipated on hitting the 20,000 mark in December, so that it comes three months ahead of time seems to indicate a high interest in the Leaf. Those who missed the first phase will have to wait for now though, as no further reservations will be taken until next year. The automaker reportedly capped it here so that it can focus on “providing the best level of customer service and premium ownership experience to those who already have enrolled.”
Consumers who already have made reservations will continue to have the opportunity to purchase or lease the vehicle, with Nissan following its planned order-release timing for existing reservationists. Orders have been prioritized based on market timing and when consumers submitted their original reservations online and paid their refundable reservation fee. Sales of the Leaf begin in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee. In January 2011, sales begin in Texas and Hawaii. The car will be available nationwide by the end of 2011.
For those wanting a closer up experience with the Leaf, Nissan is also doing a 23 city Leaf tour starting at the beginning of October and running through the end of March next year.
“As of today, 20,000 consumers have spoken, and they are choosing the Nissan Leaf and a zero-emission future,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, in a statement. “We, along with our dealers, now look forward to focusing on providing an absolute top-level purchase experience to our first customers, and to help ensure that the transition to gas-free driving is a seamless one.”