2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

It was surely no mistake that on the same day that General Motors unveiled pricing for its 2011 Chevrolet Volt, Nissan tried to grab at least some of the plug-in limelight and revealed new details about exactly where it will first roll out the 2011 Leaf.

Nissan is making the Leaf EV available in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee first—and those states alone represent more than 55 percent of reservations, according to Nissan.

Now the automaker needs to turn those hand-raisers into committed early adopters, so it yesterday sent 17,000 prospective Leaf owners details on how to take the next step toward making it official. Initial hand-raisers in those five first launch states will be able to firm up their orders beginning in August.

After those first five states, the Leaf will be made available to Texas and Hawaii in January 2011, then in North Carolina; Georgia; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; South Carolina; and Alabama in April 2011. Remaining states will see a rollout in Fall 2011.

We already know that more than half of the 130,000 Leaf “hand-raisers” were Toyota Prius owners, but with its formal timeline announcement, Nissan unveiled some interesting further buyer-profile tidbits about those who plunked $99 to reserve their spot in line:

- Those who have placed their reservations want a LEAF in blue (30 percent), more than any other color. Silver is second, at 26 percent, with red, black, and white evenly split.

- And about 75 percent of hand-raisers said that they were interested in the more expensive SL trim, which gets a built-in solar panel, rearview monitor, and fog lamps.

- Home ownership (and thus home charging access, as public charging infrastructure is still thin) was one of the key attributes; 75 percent own a single-family home, and 86 percent of reservation holders have garages (68 percent have attached garages and 18 percent have detached garages or carports).

See photos and video of the 2011 Nissan Leaf