Nissan Sells Out All-Electric Leaf in 35 Days

Showing impressive demand for electronic vehicles, Nissan has sold out its Leaf vehicles that will be produced this year. Just a little more than a month after the automaker started taking pre-orders, it reached the 13,000 reservation mark. That's not a huge number, but it does indicate that consumers may warmly embrace electric cars.

Nissan's all-electric Leaf could cost consumers as little as $25,280, after the federal government tax credit. Additional state tax credits might also apply for some buyers, further cutting its price. That makes the Leaf surprisingly affordable, given its technological prowess. Nissan began taking orders on April 20th, which required a $99 reservation fee. The company announced the sell-out yesterday. The vehicles will be available in December.

Thirteen thousand might not sound like a lot, but clearly there are some Americans eager to purchase a car with zero tailpipe emissions. Of course, the power plants that produce the electricity used to power the cars will likely produce emissions, but the vehicles require no gas. The flip side is that you can only drive 100 miles without recharging at home or a charging station equipped with an electric outlet designed for the vehicle. But that must not bother the consumers who rushed to be the first to own the car.

At this point, Nissan is taking orders for its 2011 production. The company hopes to have 500,000 of these vehicles on the road by 2013. So even if this initial burst of production wasn't big enough to be sure that Americans will broadly demand all-electric cars, we'll know the verdict before too long.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.

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