Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Leaf Turning Potential Buyers Green With Excitement

Nissan Leaf

For all the talk we've heard for the last three years about the Chevy Volt and how it will revolutionize the auto industry, there's been comparatively little press about the "other" electric car coming out around the same time.

It's the Nissan Leaf.

The all-electric car is scheduled to go on sale late next year. It promises to deliver impressive mileage (the equivalent of 367 mpg), solid range (100 miles per charge) and an affordable price tag (Nissan hasn't announced the sticker, but says it will be competitive). But so far the Volt has overshadowed it.

Or has it?

Ever since Nissan announced the Leaf would be coming out next year, prospective buyers have been clamoring to get on the waiting list - 22,000 so far!

Enough to prompt the company to now say it will start taking reservations for the electric car next spring.

If you want to get on the list, the web address is

So what do you get if you sign up?

Nissan will send updates and information about when the electric car is available – either for test drives or to take home. You'll also get other news about Nissan's electric car plans and how to become “plug-in ready.”

Of all the information, the test drive is the most intriguing. I recently drove Nissan's proto-type electric car and was 'blown away.'  Like the Volt, the Leaf has the immediate torque that comes with an electric car. Its acceleration was impressive and smooth. Just as the Volt left me convinced that electric cars won't take long to win over people, I think the Leaf will do very well here in the U.S.

Nissan says 70% of those who have contacted the company live in cities that will be among the first to get the car (San Diego, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Los Angeles, Calif.). 45% say they are very interested in buying an electric car in the next 2-3 years. No wonder Nissan now says it plans to expand production of the electric car in 2012.

Who says the Leaf isn't getting any attention?

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- Ford Motor 

- Toyota Motor

- Nissan

- Honda Motor


Questions?  Comments?