Recently, BusinessWeek ran an article called Nissan ready for electric vehicle offensive. In the article Carlos Ghosn, head of the Nissan-Renault alliance, points out that Nissan has more than just concept cars, they have a plan for mass production of the electric car. Think of the Nissan Leaf as today’s Model T; to some degree that is exactly what it is, a pioneering move by a car company with a vision.

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

I have written about the Leaf before and it is no secret that I think it is unbelievably cool…or is it green? Let’s go with cool as a cucumber, so it is cool and green. The point is, the Leaf embodies a vision of the future of cars that people have seen as a possibility since the turn of the century—yes, I mean back in the 1900s. However, the thing that really makes the Nissan Leaf special is the lack of competition. Ghosn puts it best.

“Frankly, I mean so far there is no competition. Let's be serious. It's not because someone is coming with a prototype and one car that this is competition. The question is how much capacity are you building."

This does provide some food for thought. How many companies can you think of that have a plan to produce a 100% electric vehicle on the scale of 500,000 units globally a year (the target production rate for 2012). The answer is a little more complicated than none when you consider the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Ford Transit Connect, but basically the Nissan Leaf will be untouchable in its class. Ghosn reported to BusinessWeek that Nissan already had 56,000 orders for the Leaf, a number that makes the 7,000 orders of the Honda CR-Z in Japan that we reported on earlier today look puny.

"What I am sure is that in 2011, I am going to be the only one on the market," Ghosn said. That really is the bottom line for Nissan and one that looks like it will bring them more green, environmentally and financially.