2011 Nissan Leaf: We Order Ours, And Show You How

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2011 Nissan Leaf ordering process

2011 Nissan Leaf ordering process

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When the 2011 Nissan Leaf goes on sale later this year, a lucky handful of buyers in eight areas around the country will be among the first to own and drive the first mass-market electric car sold by an automaker in the modern era.

I'm hoping I'll be one of them. As of a few moments ago, I'm in the queue to own a 2011 Nissan Leaf.

About two weeks ago, I decided to join the electric-car era and sign up to buy a 2011 Leaf--not because of any political leanings, or great concern for the environment. I'm a gadget freak, and what better gadget to complement my army of rechargeable devices, than a rechargeable car?

The economics seem to make sense, too. After a hefty $7500 federal tax credit, the Leaf's base price sits right around $25,000. Even better, my home state of Georgia is one of two places (California as well) that will offer more incentives: here, it's an additional $5000 tax credit for buying the electric Leaf, plus a $2200 credit for small businesses installing the required charging system. I could end up owning a Leaf for less than $20,000 net.

But first, I have to claw my way to the front of the line, and that process started with a $99 reservation made today via Nissan's Web site. In my experience--filling out the forms online while flying home from a press event--Nissan is making it easy to sign up for the Leaf.

When I raised my hand for the Leaf via the Nissan site, I got an account and a chance to make the reservation--the login's the wristband that gets you the best concert seats, I guess. On Sunday, via email, Nissan told us Leafheads it would open reservations today.

Originally, Nissan had planned reservations for 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time today. At about 5 p.m., I still hadn't received my email, though--so I turned to their Twitter feed, @Nissan EVs, for more information. At about 5 p.m., @NissanEVs announced the reservations window would be held open until 9 p.m. due to strong interest. Finally, I received the email invitation above at 7:37 p.m.

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Comments (17)
  1. you had black as an option? I only had red, gray, blue and white. strange

  2. I really liked blue but chose the boring silver in the end :-( I wonder if we Georgia folk can get our LEAF from Tennessee somehow before the official launch in GA... One intersting thing I saw was that my local dealership (Town Center Nissan) is already LEAF certified.

  3. You are the lucky ones. I have been on their mailing list from the beginning and still haven't gotten my notice and I do live in one of the target areas. Not off to a good start.

  4. I reserved a red one. I was disappointed that we couldn't let them know if we already have the electric capability in our garage when filling out the charging questionnaire. We also have a 10.1 kWh solar system so we'd recharge basically for free.

  5. I've also been on their mailing list since the beginning and haven't received an email notice - last one I got was March 30th. I live in Tucson, one of the target areas. I waited on hold for over 30 mins. last night on NIssans Leaf support phone line and gave up and left a message. At this point, I'm sufficiently miffed that I'll wait for the Volt or Tesla S.

  6. Marty, I'm looking forward to your article on the tax hit. When I bought my RAV4-EV there was a Federal rebate. But I got hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which I had not known would happen. I did not benefit from the rebate nearly as much as I should have.
    Combining the Fed & Calif rebate this time, I may only get a very small rebate that can actually be used.
    Yes, I reserved my Leaf yesterday (the 20th). Blue for me. :-)

  7. I did not know they extended the deadline. I was checking my e-mail every 5min from 1-6 EDT. I was one of the first to sign up for the Leaf website so was I was disappointed that I waited so long as was not getting selected. Then the e-mail showed up at 5:58 EDT. I put down my $99 and chose the silver color w/ the SL trim. Who Ya!!!!

  8. To #5 Alex:
    You can contact them using "live chat" on the Nissan Leaf website. They found me on their list and said that I would hear from them in 24/48 hours. I too am from Arizona.
    If BYD or Coda actually bring out cars this year, I am a little less inclined to Nissan now.

  9. Generally, I don't see how people will be able to claim the full 7.5K Fed tax credit. An average family doesn't pay nearly enough (take that tea baggers) even if they make 100K. The effective rate after all deductions is in low single digits thanks to Bush and Obama. Any higher and you can get hit by ATM. You can only claim it in in the year you purchase the car, so it doesn't roll over unlike the state tax credits that can be spread out up to five years in most cases. Unless Marty has kids, he may be one of very few who'll get the whole thing.

  10. I signed up with a couple of email addresses (just in case) and sure enough, the only one that came to me was for the account created the day before (4/19) through their FB link. It was found in my Yahoo! spam, btw.

  11. Has Nissan published the number of deposits that they accepted yesterday? I read aprox 50,000 orders but could not verify. Thx

  12. I have been on the mailing list since the begining and have not received the email for reserving the Leaf. I am very dissapointed in Nissan. I think I will have to look at the Ford Focus BEV. I can not believe how terrible Nissan is treating all but the select few with their roll out.

  13. Update. Apparently getting in touch with Nissan as described above payed off. I received a reservation for a Leaf this morning.

  14. Over 6K put their reservations in... Am I the only one who expected a lot more? I guess we'll get ours sooner, so no sleep lost over this for me.

  15. #13 - thx for the article. The finital roll out states are "California, Oregon, Seattle, Phoenix-Tucson and Tennessee". I read somewhere else that 43% of the 6635 Leafs were reserved in CA. So the question is how many are going to us in AZ come December?

  16. I wonder that about Arizona, but I'm moving to Nevada in a few weeks. Speaking of desolate places not getting Nissan Leaves. You'd probably see some in Lost Wages and Reno, but a place like Elko, NV? That's where we're going. The place is full of miners mining primarily for gold, 'cause the value of gold keeps rising. Leaves will be extremely rare over there.

  17. Nissan Leaves are gonna be extremely rare in Elko, NV, where my wife and I are moving. Lots of miners and their pick-em-up trucks over there. A Leaf would be a shock ta see, indeed.

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