Nissan says it will deliver 20,000 electric cars by September
By Matthew Lynley at VentureBeat
Nissan said it is on track to deliver all 20,000 back-ordered Nissan Leaf electric cars to those who pre-ordered the vehicle by September despite numerous delays and production concerns. The company made the announcement at the New York Auto Show today.
The company stopped taking pre-orders for its Leaf once it reached 20,000 reservations for the plug-in electric car. The company hit that target in September last year, and has only delivered about 500 Leaf cars to the U.S. to date. That would mean that the company would have to deliver more than 19,000 cars in 4 months.
Nissan already has a vote of confidence from the U.S. government. The U.S. Department of Energy is expecting Nissan to ship around 25,000 Leaf cars by the end of the year. By the DOE report’s account, 300,000 of the expected 1.2 million electric cars in 2015 will be Nissan Leafs, meaning the government expects Leafs to account for one in every four electric cars available by 2015.
And Nissan seems to face a setback in the Leaf’s production every time it turns around — whether it’s a glitch in the system or a massive earthquake that stalls the car’s production line. The Leaf is an ambitious electric vehicles with a low (by electric vehicle standards) price tag — still a hefty $33,000 — designed to attract more casual drivers to the electric car market and labeled by Kelly Blue Book as the first electric car for the masses.
The company said the its first shipment of Leaf cars produced after a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake stalled production of the car would make it to the United States on April 27. It will re-open reservations for the Leaf for residents in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington at the start of May for anyone that has registered on the Nissan website.
Nissan also released some information about the first 500 Leaf owners that agreed to take part in a data-sharing program. Most Leaf owners drove an average of around 7 miles per trip and spent around 2 hours charging the car with a 220-volt charger. Leaf owners are also in the top 15 percent of households in terms of income, according to the report.