Preorders for Nissan's LEAF electric car have already surpassed the planned capacity for the car's first year, Nissan has said.

Already 19,000 LEAF vehicles have been ordered in the United States and Japan, although the Japanese carmaker plans to produce only 10,000 by March 2011, according to auto industry website Automotive News.

Nissan will now screen customers who have preordered the vehicle to ensure that their proposed use of the vehicle is suited to the LEAF, Nissan EV chief Andy Palmer told Automotive News.

"We'll even be advising some people not to buy," he told the website. "We don't want them to be driving 300 miles (482 km) a day. It's all about managing expectations. Electric cars aren't for everyone."

The Nissan LEAF is set for a launch in late 2010 in Japan, the US and in Europe, where it will be available first in the UK, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal.

Earlier this year, Mitsubishi announced that it was ramping up production of its competing iMiEV electric vehicle, saying that it expected to sell 9,000 units in 2010.

It will now aim to produce 18,000 units in 2011 and 30,000 in 2012.

Pricing announcements suggest that the iMiEV will be more expensive than the Nissan LEAF in all markets when it hits the roads next year.

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