Spain started the LEAF reservation process on May 12. As in the United States, Spanish LEAF customers first reserve a LEAF online with a fully refundable deposit of €300 (currently slightly more than $200). First Spanish deliveries are expected to take place in September.
LEAF is now available in Japan, the United States, and Europe. European deliveries have already started in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland and Portugal. In addition, reservations have already opened in Switzerland and France with first deliveries due soon. The LEAF may have greater visibility in Europe as it received the European Car of the Year award.
One advantage that the LEAF enjoys in Europe is a lower cost of operation, comparatively speaking, due to the higher cost of petroleum products. A comparable diesel vehicle in Europe may have an operating cost of €7 ($4.96) per 100 kilometers versus an operating cost for the LEAF of €1.9 ($1.34). When faced with similar purchase costs for both, the LEAF fares far better than a head-to-head dollars and cents comparison in the US.
As the LEAF continues to be introduced in more countries, the supply constraints of being produced in only one plant in Japan will become more and more apparent. Nissan is likely doing everything they can to ensure that LEAF production in Smyrna, Tennessee does indeed start on schedule in the latter part of next year.