Nissan LEAF availability

by Ernie Hernandez on November 27, 2011

2012 Nissan LEAFReservation not required

Certainly, this will not be the case across the country. And it will likely not be the case in newly opened Nissan LEAF markets. But it is worth noting, so we are passing this information along – Nissan LEAF is available without a reservation. At least to a limited degree.

We just got an email from our local dealership that they have some LEAFs available for those individuals that wish to purchase one and do not currently hold a reservation. Obviously, this means that some current LEAF reservationists placed an order and could not take delivery for whatever reason. The reason is immaterial. What does matter is this – for those in other parts of the country that so desire, they can come to California to buy a LEAF from dealer inventory – a situation not available in most new LEAF markets.

Why do we wish to pass this information along? Because there are many frustrated potential LEAF owners around the country that would like nothing more than having an electric car in their garage. Unfortunately, due to Nissan’s current distribution system, this is unlikely to come to pass unless other arrangements can be made. Now they can.

We make this information available with a couple of caveats. First – if you truly do have an interest in picking up an “orphaned” LEAF – make a couple of phone calls first. Find out how many orphaned LEAFs the dealer has in inventory and ask what the selling price is. It constantly amazes us how many people forget to ask that last question. While we don’t expect these vehicles to be given away, we don’t expect them to attract significant premiums over the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) either. We have noted that some dealers are extremely proud of their LEAFs. Others realize that selling the LEAF at MSRP is good for the customer and the dealership. While global supply is constrained, local supply in certain markets may exceed current demand.  If you have the ability to get to California (or Arizona or perhaps any of the other initial rollout states), you may have an opportunity to pick up a new LEAF without having to wait the three months or more that current reservationists are facing. Check sources such as cars.com to find out if there might be a LEAF within easy travel distance for you.

If you wish to have a Nissan LEAF in your garage, and you don’t wish to wait for three months or more, there are ways to acquire your LEAF that may not be as painfully slow as you might imagine. Make a few calls and who knows… you may have a LEAF in your garage before you know it.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jsmar November 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

There are at least two additional questions someone pursuing this path would need to answer:

1) How would the Leaf be transported back home, and how much would it cost? Most people are not going to want to take up the challenge of trying to drive their new Leaf back home over long distances.

2) If the buyer is planning on bringing a Leaf to an area that Nissan has not rolled out sales to yet, the buyer should also contact the local Nissan dealer and find out if the dealership is prepared to service the vehicle, i.e. have the service reps been trained on any Leaf specific service requirements, and will the dealership be able to get any Leaf specific repair parts?

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) November 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

jsmar – Welcome to Living LEAF. You raise two excellent points. The first we took for granted that most will need to resolve on their own – the method and cost of transport. We assumed that our readers would calculate this additional cost into their acquisition cost. The second point we should not have assumed – that those buying a LEAF like this would be those in the current rollout markets. As importantly as the points that you bring up is this – is there a supplier that can provide and install a 240-volt level 2 charging station. One alternative that we have mentioned is the possibility of converting the supplied 120-volt trickle charge unit to a 240-volt level 2 unit. Here is a link to that provider. This would necessitate the installation of a 240-volt outlet in the garage if one does not already exist, but allows for the portability of your charge station. LEAFs purchased and brought into non-rollout markets will have no service support as LEAF dealers require unique training, tools and equipment. Caveat emptor.

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Grant November 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm

You don’t need a “supplier” to install a level 2 charging station. You just need to buy the equipment (online or on ebay, where I got mine) and have an electrician install it. Don’t bother getting a quote from Aerovironment (for which they charge a ridiculous $100). They are a complete ripoff. Their quote was more than twice what I ended up paying to buy the equipment and have it installed by a master electrician (including labor, materials, and permit).

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) December 1, 2011 at 8:37 am

Grant – your supplier happened to be ebay, and you chose to have a local electrician install it. Some will be more comfortable with going to one source. I did not (nor do I) necessarily recommend AeroVironment. I personally did not use them. Best Buy is getting into the market, as well as others, that will sell and install the evse on a local basis. Also, one can purchase the unit direct from the manufacturer (there are many now) and often they will recommend an installer.

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Varun Bhatia January 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I actually did this already i Purchased my leaf out of Gladstone Nissan From Oregon state. I had a young kid named Andrew sell me the car over the phone. They over nighted the paper work and I got the car after approval in 3 weeks. then i just typed into google Car transportation and got a million quotes. Here is how it works. There is only one National Database system so when you sign up for a quite you get tons of brokers calling you. I chose to go with DOOR TO DOOR transport and they were the most honest and nice and trust me all these transporters love lying to you to get the booking. They are very sneaky but DOOR TO DOOR did do as promised and the car will be here in 2 to 3 days as i spoke directly to the Shipping company finally. So finally i wanted to tell you how i got my charger. I called Aeroviornmental and they sold me a Charger Cash with no $100 dollar fee of any kind. This is an option not a necessity. you just go to Cash you at Nissan Leaf.com so i paid 1150 dollars with shipping and tax. Finally I am installing the charger myself as my dad is an Electrician so you do have options and I had a great experience with Aeroviornmental. Total with parts it cost me $1300 also you guys should know this is a 3.3 KW the 220V charger upgrade only gets you 2.6 KW and takes around 10 hours so you get what you pay for lol

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) January 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

Varun – just so you know, EVSEupgrade.com offers two versions of their upgrade to the 120-volt supplied EVSE that comes with the LEAF. Version one will take slightly longer than the AeroVironment 240-volt EVSE. But version two will operate at up to 16 amps, which will allow the LEAF to charge at the same rate as the AeroVironment EVSE. One difference – with future generations of the LEAF expected to offer a 6.6 kilowatt on-board charger, the AeroVironment unit can supply that, while the EVSEupgrade version two cannot, although it has been torture-tested up to 26.5 amps prior to sale.

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