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Leaf: Going, Going, Gone


...for pre-orders, at least:
If you aren't already on the list to purchase a 2011 Nissan Leaf, you're officially out of luck. During a speech to the Detroit Economic Club today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that the U.S. market allotment for the first year's production of Leafs is already sold out more than six months before the EV even goes on sale. Nissan has now received 13,000 orders for the $32,780 electric car – quite impressive for a vehicle almost no one's driven.

So far, the orders are comprised of refundable $99 deposits, so it will be interesting to see how sales and orders hold up once people begin getting calls from dealers. Prior to going on sale in 2008, the Smart ForTwo also received thousands of orders before deliveries began – and we all know how well that turned out. While the Leaf will undoubtedly be a much more pleasant and practical car to drive than the Smart, it remains to be seen how customers will react once they get used to the real world electric range.
I would consider buying a Leaf, after I've driven one. I don't understand the notion of buying a car before you have ever even seen it in person.