The Nitty Gritty on Nissan's LEAF
With E-Day just seven months away, Nissan North America has innumerable details it must work out in preparation for the launch of the LEAF all-electric car. Fortunately, more than a dozen cities and, as of today, 105,000 'hand-raisers' are helping sort it all out, as we learn in this 20-minute EV World 'Future in Motion' podcast interview with Director of Product Planning for North America, Mark Perry recorded April 9, 2010.
The LEAF marks a major new product development strategy for Nissan, which aims to have 10 percent of the cars it produces be electric in ten years time. The LEAF is the first modern all-electric car from a major OEM since the demise of GM's EV1 in the early 2000s. Not only is the car a significant shift for the company, which partnered with France's Renault through the Renault-Nissan Alliance headed by Carlos Ghosn, it also is a high-stakes gamble, one that Ghosn hopes will make it the undisputed global leader in battery-only electric cars, as distinct from GM's Volt, which hedges its bet with the addition of an internal combustion engine generator fueled by gasoline.
Last week, the company announced its North American pricing for the LEAF at a compelling $32,780 before federal government tax breaks, which drop the price of the vehicle to under $26,000. It also announced the pricing on the installation of the home garage SAE J1772-compliant "docking" unit, which provides intelligent charging to the car's built-in 240/120V AC/DC charger. The J1772 plug and communications protocol is now the accepted U.S. standard for all automakers.
On April 20th, those individuals who signed up on the Nissan web site as having interest in the car will be given priority on the LEAF reservation list, which requires payment of a refundable reservation fee of $99. In this interview, Perry and EV World's Bill Moore talk about more of the 'nitty gritty' details of when, where and how the LEAF will be introduced, as well as who will get priority and why. To listen to the complete interview, use either of the two MP3 players to the right, or download the 5.19MB file to your hard drive for playback on your favorite MP3 device.