Nissan Leaf Reservations Leave Tesla, Ford in the Dust

Model (Type) Reservations Deposit Amount (Price) Launch
Nissan LEAF (BEV) 6,635 in first 2.5 days, 2,700 in first 3 hours (April 2010) $99 ($32,780 standard, $33,720 premium) December 2010
Aptera 2e (BEV) and 2h (HEV) 4,000+ as of March 2009; 3,100 as of March 2010 $500 fully refundable or $750 locked in ($25K-$45K) Minimum 11 months after raising new funds; mid-2011 at the earliest
Ford Fiesta (ICE) 1,000+ in first 6 days (December 2009) $0 ($13K) Summer 2010
Tesla Model S (BEV) 520 in first week (April 2009), 2,000 as of December 2009 $5K for standard version, $40K for Signature Edition ($57,400) Early 2012

Talk about pent up demand — Nissan says it collected 6,635 reservations for its upcoming LEAF electric sedan in less than three days just one day, including as many as 2,700 in the first three hours that the automaker started accepting refundable deposits for the vehicle.

Taken in context with the reservation stats for models like Tesla Motors’ high-end Model S, Aptera’s planned three-wheelers and Ford’s subcompact Fiesta, Nissan’s latest numbers suggest a few things: Nissan has struck an effective tone and reached the right audience with its marketing (including a big push during the Olympics), and set the deposit low enough ($99) for a good chunk of the 115,000 subscribers to the LEAF “interest list” to follow through with a reservation.

The influx of reservations seems to work well for electric vehicles in the consumer market — at least models that have firm, not-too-distant launch dates and a track record of delivering on promises, and which carry relatively moderate price tags.

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