Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


US Leaf buyers run out of time, but European order books remain open

Nissan has closed US orders for its all-electric Leaf three months ahead of schedule, it confirmed September 23, although customers in some European countries can still order the vehicle.

The firm said that 20,000 reservations had been made for the Leaf for US delivery in December, and that no further vehicles will be available until next year.

The US order books for the Leaf opened August 31, with Nissan saying that it had 18,000 preorders for the vehicle already - customers paid a $99 (€74) refundable reservation fee from April 20 to secure the opportunity to order their car.

Now, Nissan is offering those who didn't get a Leaf the chance to test-drive one on a tour of the US, which will visit 23 major cities throughout fall.

Sales begin December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee, while Texas and Hawaii sales start in January 2011.

However, European preorders (with a refundable deposit) for the LEAF are still open in Portugal, the UK and Ireland.

Potential buyers in the Netherlands are being asked to register their interest.

Early adopters will be given an opportunity to test-drive the Leaf before December, at which point they will need to formally confirm their order.

European deliveries will then begin in Portugal in January, Ireland in February and the UK in March.