2011 Nissan Leaf Orders Commence. Fast Charge Option $700

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2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

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It's been the most anticipated all-electric car of 2010 with well over 13,000 pre-orders in the U.S. alone. We've driven one twice and loved the car's well-finished trim, impressive handling and accurate range calculations using the car's built-in GPS.

Our very own Marty Padgett is one of the 13,000 people who has parted with $99 of cash to be placed on the waiting list, but until tomorrow no-one has been able to do any more than wait.

But that's all set to change. According to Washington state based Volkswagen and Nissan dealer CampbellNelson, posting on MyNissanLeaf.com,  Nissan will open its order books on Tuesday, August 31st,  allowing those who have reserved a Leaf to specify color, trim, options and final details.

As we've heard already from existing owners on the RAV4EV owners forums, some folks on the Nissan leaf waiting list have scheduled appointments to have the required chargers installed at their homes.  But that's all without knowing more about the final details for the car.

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

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As it turns out the 2011 Nissan Leaf is going to offer some great standard features and some impressive extra options.

Standard to the 2011 Nissan Leaf SV, with an MSRP of $32,780 are a 3.3 kilowatt on-board charger, capable of charging from either a 240V outlet or a 120V domestic socket.

In addition to Nissan's proprietary navigation unit which tells the driver how many miles the Leaf can travel before it needs a recharge, Nissan will offer 36 months free roadside assistance and 36 months free CARWINGS telematics assistance.

Also included as standard are 16 inch alloy wheels and seat trim made from cloth woven from recycled fabric.

The 2011 Nissan Leaf SL, at a more costly $33,720, offers automatic headlights, a solar panel on the car's spoiler, fog lights, rear-view parking assistance camera and a Homelink Universal Transceiver, useful for those with automatic garage doors.

After the standard trim for both models, a whole list of options are available offering the usual accoutrement and styling extras available for most cars.

What we're slightly worried about though is Nissan's fast-charge feature for the Leaf, which can charge the car to 80% full in just 30 minutes at a special 440V CHAdeMo charging station.

Why are we worried?

It's only an extra option. Worse than that, it's only available on the SL trim level Leaf at an extra cost of $700.

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo
According to the dealer in Washington State who published the options list, the fast-charge option will only be available as a new option and can't be added as a retro-fit option.

While a 100 mile range is more than enough for most consumers' needs and those with a charging place at their place of work could theoretically drive the Leaf for 200 miles or more per day, we think the absence of fast-charge option on the SV and the inability to add it post-purchase on the SL is a serious error on Nissan's part.

Our advice? If you can spare the extra $1800 or so to upgrade to the SL and fast-charge option we think your new electric wonder will retain a much higher resale price than the much-slower charging SV model.

[CampbellNelson] via [Mynissanleaf.com]

 
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