By the end of 2010, the all-new zero-emissions Nissan Leaf will begin arriving in showrooms. By 2012 its global production is expectws to reach a staggering 500,000 units. Although there is still plenty of demand for hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, not to mention plenty of buzz for the upcoming Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf will be the first and only mass produced all-electric vehicle when it finally goes on sale.
“Frankly, I mean, so far there is no competition,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told a group of reporters at the Geneva Auto Show. “Let’s be serious. It’s not because someone is coming with a prototype and one car that this is competition. The question is how much capacity are you building.”
The sheer scope of the Leaf’s production is part of what makes this a truly incredible vehicle. This is not merely a prototype, nor small scale test vehicle. Although other automakers are working on bringing electric vehicles to the masses, including a similar Leaf competitor from Mitsubishi, only Nissan will give tens of thousands of consumers the ability to own a true EV in less than a year.
There are already about 56K orders to the Nissan Leaf destined for the U.S. and soon customers in Europe and Japan will be able to place orders. Not only are consumers interested in this vehicle, but governments and other organizations are also eager to get their hands on this highly flexible and functional zero-emissions vehicle.
“What I am sure is that in 2011, I am going to be the only one on the market,” Ghosn said.
With only about 3,000 EVs traveling on U.S. roads right now, the Nissan Leaf and its substantial production goals will have a dramatic effect on this number, and will likely have a profound effect on the EV landscape and on automotive technology in the very near future.
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