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Mark this one under “you don’t say.” With a total of 11,000 pre-orders for its Leaf electric car, Nissan is predicting that demand for the Leaf will outstrip supply. Those 11,000 orders are for the U.S. and Japan only, and pre-orders for Canada and Europe haven’t even begun. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that the “early-adopter” technology enthusiast types are eager to get their hands on the first truly mass-market electric vehicle, but with gas prices constantly threatening to skyrocket, the practical plug-in is turning into an attractive proposition for more and more drivers.
One interesting component of the pre-order program is Nissan’s way of qualifying buyers by asking them for information on topics like how far they drive each day. Apparently, Nissan will direct buyers who don’t fit the Leaf’s criteria to other Nissan vehicles, an interesting but risky way of managing expectations for their new EV. Any bad press at launch time could be disastrous for Nissan, and in a nation that fell all over the “runaway Prius” story, a media fiasco is something Nissan would love to avoid as they launch one of the most important vehicles of the decade.