Nissan collects $650,000 from buyers who just want to be first

Looks like demand is there for the new Nissan Leaf but how many can they build? With this type of excitement and demand around vehicles like the Leaf and the upcoming Chevy Volt electric cars might finally be for real in the marketplace. Both companies need to answer the call and get these machines rolling off the assembly lines early and often.

From AutoNews.com:

In three days, U.S. consumers gave $656,865 to Nissan for the chance to buy a Leaf electric sedan when it arrives in December.

Ain’t capitalism grand.

Starting on Tuesday, April 20, consumers could pony up $99 for what was called a refundable reservation fee. By Friday morning, 6,635 would-be buyers had charged the fee to their credit cards.

For their money, they got…well, nothing, really.

This is not a deposit on the car. It doesn’t count against the $32,780 sticker price.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Nissan Leaf priced at U.S. $38,500+ in Japan

Will the upcoming Nissan Leaf Electric car sell at a price of 38k in the U.S.? Looks pretty price from my perspective, but if this new technology can deliver as promised Nissan might hit a solid double here.

From Autoblog.com:

Interest in, and “pre-orders” for, the Nissan Leaf remains high, but a report from the Japanese newspaper the Mainichi Shimbun might put a damper on things. Apparently, the price for the all-electric car in Japan will be somewhere between 3.5 million and 4 million yen, which is about $38,667 to $44,191 U.S. at today’s exchange rates. Granted, even if these prices are accurate, they certainly don’t automatically equal the MSRP for the U.S. market, but they are higher than what we’ve been expecting – i.e., under $30,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. We went and looked at the prices for a couple of other cars in Japan, to see how the Leaf’s 3.5 million compares. The Toyota Prius runs between 2.0 and 3.27 million yen ($22k–36k USD). The Honda Insight? From 1.89 to 2.2 million ($21k-24.4k USD).

Read the full article here.

  

Nissan showcases Leaf electric car

Word on the street is that the Nissan Leaf is the real deal and coming to showrooms near you in 2012. One-hundred miles per charge is what we hear and that is music to our ears and wallet.

From AutoGuide.com:

With no official presence at the Detroit Auto Show, Nissan couldn’t resist showcasing its new Leaf electric car. On display alongside several other electric models in an area of the show dubbed Electric Avenue, Nissan claims that the Leaf is no concept, but an actual production model. It certainly looks the part, with a production quality exterior and interior, high-tech features and plenty of functionality.

The Leaf is powered by lithium-ion battery packs and is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Read the full article here.

  

GM claims that the Chevy Volt will get 230 miles per gallon

chevy-volt-concept-07

GM is looking for a big PR push with the Chevy Volt, and their announcement that the new Chevy Volt will get 230 miles per gallon will certainly grab some positive attention for the beleaguered company.

General Motors Co. said today the Chevrolet Volt, its extended-range electric vehicle due out in November 2010, will get an estimated city fuel economy of 230 mpg, or 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles.

GM will unveil 25 new models between now and the end of 2011, president and CEO Fritz Henderson said during an hour-long webcast this morning.

“When the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle rolls off the assembly line late next year, it will be the first mass-production automobile to achieve triple-digit fuel economy, with an expected 230 mpg in the city, or 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles,” GM said.

The Environmental Protection Agency declined to confirm the figure, which was based on a draft testing procedure. GM said the calculation is based on more than one vehicle electrical charge, since the average driver travels far less than 100 miles in a single day.

“EPA has not tested a Chevy Volt and therefore cannot confirm the fuel economy values claimed by GM,” said EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn.

“EPA does applaud GM’s commitment to designing and building the car of the future: an American-made car that will save families money, significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good-paying American jobs.”

In recent days, GM had launched a “viral” marketing campaign featuring a green background and a “230” logo — with a plug in the place of the 0 — to build interest in today’s announcement. Many auto bloggers correctly guessed that the figure was connected to the Volt’s city fuel economy rating.

The viral campaign is another good idea, and it looks like we really might have a “new GM.”

That said, the important story here is we’re seeing a plug-in hybrid that will potentially be a game-changer in the auto business. For a country that imports a ton of foreign oil, it’s refreshing to see real progress on electric vehicles.

Of course, not everyone is impressed, including Nissan.

But at least one competing automaker isn’t convinced. “Nissan Leaf = 367 mpg, no tailpipe, and no gas required. Oh yeah, and it’ll be affordable too,” the folks over at Nissan’s electric vehicle Twitter feed wrote today. About an hour later, they added this statement: “To clarify our previous tweet, the DOE formula estimates 367mpg for Nissan LEAF.”

That’s even more great news. It looks like there will be serious competition here from other automakers, so perhaps consumers will have real choices, and we can make real progress towards a goal of eliminating oil imports.

  

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