Nissan Leaf Delays to Continue Into Spring

2011 Nissan LEAF Production Inspection

We’ve already reported on some of the initial supply constraints Nissan is having with its Leaf, and the delays will continue for the next few months to come, according to a company spokesman.

Initial production has been slowed so that the automaker can “get it absolutely perfect and make sure there’s no perception the car isn’t ready for market,” Nissan’s chief U.S. spokesman, David Reuter, told the TheDetroitBureau.com. According to Reuter, the Leaf will be up to full production by April.

Some 20,000 reservations have been placed for the EV in the U.S., and some customers are becoming disgruntled about the wait, which we reported on earlier. The automaker is not only working with an all-new platform but with a new electric-only powertrain. Nissan wants to make sure that each lithium-ion battery pack that comes out of production meets automotive quality — a standard that more rigorous than the battery in your laptop or cell phone.

The Leaf is available in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. Despite the supply constraints, Texas will begin its Leaf rollout Tuesday with Hawaii following closely behind, Nissan spokeswoman Katherine Zachary said.

Nissan says it’s still on track for a nationwide launch of the Leaf by 2012. The reservation list is currently closed, but the automaker says it will reopen in the first half of this year. To meet initial demand, the timetable for adding more markets will shift (presumably back) toward the second half of 2011, according to a Nissan press release. North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama and Washington, D.C., are supposed to get the EV this spring. There are no specific details about the shift in timing for these markets.

Nissan has managed to sell the Leaf only in the “hundreds” so far, Reuter said. By comparison, GM has produced 1,582 of its Chevrolet Volt competitor in the time since it went into production in December until Jan. 22. Chevrolet planned to build only 10,000 Volts through the end of this year, but CEO Dan Akerson recently confirmed the automaker is now shooting for 25,000 or more in the first year, according to TheDetroitBureau.com.

Nissan Confirms Slow Launch of Leaf Battery Car (The Detroit Bureau)

Comments 

If you're in the USA you want the Volt because parts and service for an exotic Japanese electric car will be very, very expensive. If Nissan finds reason to void your warranty you are in a world of hurt.

Dan

Jack-

That excuse has been used for every Japanese or otherwise foreign car for over 40 years. It doesn't hold water.

Zack

I'm not surprised by these delays. Litium Ion is a touchy battery chemistry and there's a reason that Chevrolet, Tesla and other top end electric car makers have sophisticated temperature management systems for their Lithium Ion packs. Nissan trimmed the budget with an air cooled pack, and maybe they figured out a way to save money and still prevent a runaway thermal reaction with the battery pack. But a serious delay this late in the game would make me concerned if I had put down money on the Leaf.

Sheth

It will be interesting to see if some of these folks get a volt instead or wait for the electric focus.

jett1000

cough-volt-cough

Jack

Jack & Dan, know the facts; only the Nissan Leaf is 100% electric - 100 mile range and of course has a much higher battery range than the hybrid Volt's generator/40 mile range battery. I would assume the Volt is easier to produce, I can buy a battery and generator at Home Depot.

Sheth

The leaf has 73m of range and that's under ideal conditions. In the winter expect a major drop in range. Volt is more complex than the leaf- hence the higher price. Volt has to control two power sources and has more complex battery thermal management.

Elise

The Leaf's unique asset is the cost of ownership. At $3 for 100 miles and virtually no maintenance costs, we have to start looking at auto ownership in a more complete way. The first service is 7500 miles and that is to check the tires. The second service is 15,000 miles. They just check the computer, tires and braks. At $3 for 100 miles (that's very conservative) and virtually no upkeep, it's s steal.

Troy S.

This is my opinion:

As gasoline prices continue to rise, the Leaf, which never requires gasoline, seems more attractive every day.

Additionally, GM claims the Volt's Electric only Mode will cover 84% of America's commuters daily requirements. This makes the Leaf even MORE attractive because it can travel double the Volt's EV mode which in turn will require half the number of battery recharges and a lower power bill for the consumer.

The Leaf is also THOUSANDS of dollars cheaper than the Volt.

Those THOUSANDS saved on a Leaf could be used to rent a vehicle for long trips, plane tickets or the purchase of a second vehicle....with money still left over.

Again, as GM said, the Volt's EV range will handle 84% of commuter's daily requirements, the other 16% would be better served with a something else. A Volt, at 41,000 is an option but it's expensive. One might be better served by a small car and used pickup. Both of which could be purchased for the price of a single Volt.

The Leaf IMO is simply the more attractive car. Ford seems to think so as well because they're obviously following Nissan's lead by producing the EV Focus.

Jime

Search this site and read "the-great-chevy-volt-hybrid-mishap-explained". The Volt is not a real EV, although, it could be considered Prius with a modest plug-in range. The Volt should be classified as a Plug-In Hybrid not an EV like the Leaf. GMs "creative marketing" machine is working overtime on this one. Opinion: The Volt is a big disappointment for me when you have all the specs and facts GM curiously has left out.

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