For a limited number of first buyers of the Nissan LEAF, which go on sale in December, going electric has its perks. There's a $7,500 federal tax credit, a $2,500 cash rebate from the state of Tennessee, and a free $3,000 home-charging unit courtesy of the Energy Department. And here in Tennessee, LEAF drivers will be able to charge their vehicles free at public charging stations on 425 miles of freeways that connect Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
Demand for the new all electric Nissan LEAF has been much higher than expected. Right now, in Tennessee there are already over 400 reservations.
The initial number of LEAFs planned for The EV Project in Tennessee is 1,000 vehicles. The actual number placed in Tennessee will be based on the number of customer orders in Tennessee. This number may go down somewhat due to high demand in other markets, so don’t assume at this point that a certain number of LEAFs are expected to come to the greater Knoxville market. The number that actually come into the Knoxville market could be one-third of that number, or less.
Although the reservation system has been closed (as of Sept. 23, 2010), it is expected that not all of those reservations will be turned into purchases. Nissan expects to re-open the online reservation process in early 2011, although there are no guarantees. The only way to make sure you are on the list to find out when reservations have been re-opened is by becoming a “hand raiser,” or registering. This is your only option for getting a chance to purchase the first model year Nissan LEAF.
Electric cars are no longer just a dream, even here in east Tennessee. Just imagine one in your garage.