As electric cars have rolled out in major metropolitan areas, many buyers have been left out of the green-car revolution. Both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf were introduced in “select” markets to start with, as vehicles, parts, and training were scaled up to reach coast to coast. Now Nissan has announced it will begin delivering Leafs nationwide starting March 1 to customers who have placed deposits. The plug-in hybrid Volt went nationwide last summer.
The Leaf launched in four states originally, with deliveries expanded to 29 states last fall. But for consumers who want a 100-percent electric car in, say Topeka, the pickings were slim until now.
In the past, Consumer Reports has flown to California to buy vehicles early in their lifecycle so that we could complete our testing and share our findings in a timely manner. Such was the case with the Leaf and more recently, our new 2012 Mitsubishi ‘i’ electric car that arrived this month by truck.
We always make an extra effort to get the latest models for our test program, but it helps when they’re actually sold in our backyard. Now, the Leaf will be available in neighborhoods nationwide.
See our impressions in the video below, and read our complete Leaf road test for more details.