Nissan set to expand EV sales in U.S.
Nissan North America said Tuesday it was expanding the availability of the all-electric Nissan Leaf to U.S. consumers and raising the price for the 2012 model year by 3 percent.
Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, said the Leaf will be available this fall in 10 additional states mostly in the Southeast but also in Illinois, including Chicago, he said.
"Many enthusiastic consumers have eagerly anticipated ordering a Nissan LEAF of their own, and now we can make zero-emissions mobility a reality in more markets," Carolin said.
Nissan also planning to raise the price significantly The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the 2012 Nissan Leaf is $35,200 for the SV trim level, compared with $32,780 for the 2011 models and $37,250 for the SL trim level, compared to $33,720 for the previous model. The monthly lease price will begin at $369 dollars rather than $349.
Carolin said most of the increase comes from making features standard rather than selling them as options.
"In response to direct feedback from Nissan Leaf owners, the features that customers want most will come standard on the 2012 Nissan Leaf - including quick charging and cold-weather features," he said.
Carolin said Nissan will begin taking orders for the 2012 Leaf next week from consumers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The Leaf is already on sale in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
Nissan also will expand sales of the Leaf to several other states by the end of the year, spokeswoman Katherine Zachary said.
As the year continues. Nissan will begin taking orders from customers in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By the end of the year, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will be added as markets where Leaf will be available for order.
While deliveries have been slowed by earthquake-related disruptions of production in Japan, more than 4,000 Nissan Leafs have been delivered to U.S. customers. Almost 82 percent have never previously owned a Nissan, Nissan representatives said.
Carolin said a full 75 percent considered no other vehicle than the Nissan Leaf in their purchase decision. On a whole, early adopters report that they are using the Nissan Leaf as their primary car, and driving it far more than was originally anticipated. By and large, the buyers highly educated and have high income levels, are technologically savvy, environmentally conscious, and consider themselves advocates for electric-car technology, he added.