With the unveiling of the Nissan LEAF just days ago, many Americans are wondering just when can they get one.  The introduction into the U.S. market is expected to occur in late 2010.  But those interested in outright buying one may have to wait even longer.

It's unclear at this time if Nissan will introduce the vehicle in the U.S. as a lease type vehicle designated for fleet use first before the global launch expected in 2012, but many writers predict that fleet based leasing will indeed be all we get here in 2010.  Nissan has not commented on whether or not the vehicle will have a full scale launch here in 2010, but they have hinted that they would introduce the vehicle in states with a supporting charging infrastructure in place first before launching the vehicle nationwide.

With the U.S. behind many other nations in regards to access to charging stations, we may only get fleet leasing until we can catch up.  As a recent report from Autoblog suggests, the LEAF will ,"likely be marketed in select stateside cities that have already committed to building some of the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles, and the LEAF likely won't be available for purchase, it will probably be a lease only proposition- at least initially."

Several other reports support this assumption that a leas only LEAF will likely be the first we see in the U.S.

So if the reports turn out to be true, how long do we have to wait to buy one?  It could be as far away as 2012 before the general public in this country can walk into a Nissan dealership and drive away in their zero emission LEAF.

2012 is the anticipated global release of the LEAF and this also marks the time when Nissan will be near full battery capacity at their new battery plants across the globe.  The global launch will see a dramatic increase in production of the LEAF and this may be when we get ours here to.

The vehicle appears to be worth waiting for, but 3 years is a long time and in the EV market, timing appears to be everything.  Let's hope Nissan got it right and is not waiting too long, buyers may not be willing to hold out.

Source:  Nissan Press Release, Autoblog