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Nissan announced today at the New York Auto Show that it is on track to deliver 20,000 back-ordered Leaf electric cars despite numerous delays and production concerns.
The company stopped taking pre-orders for the Leaf once it reached 20,000 reservations for the plug-in electric car. The company hit that target in September last year, and has only delivered about 500 Leaf cars to the U.S. to date. That would mean that the company needs to deliver more than 19,000 cars in 4 months to meet its target.
Nissan already has a vote of confidence from the U.S. government. The U.S. Department of Energy expects Nissan to ship around 25,000 Leaf cars by the end of the year. By the DOE report’s account, 300,000 of the expected 1.2 million electric cars in 2015 will be Nissan Leafs, or one of every four electric cars.
Production of the Leaf has been stalled several times in the past six months, due to a glitch in the air conditioning system and a massive earthquake among other issues. The ambitious electric vehicle has a relatively low (by EV standards) price tag — still a hefty $33,000 — and is designed to attract a wider swath of drivers to the electric car market. It’s labeled by Kelly Blue Book as the first electric car for the masses.
The company said today that the first shipment of Leaf cars produced after the Japanese earthquake would arrive in the United States on April 27. Nissan will re-open reservations for the Leaf for residents in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington at the beginning of May.
Nissan also released information about the first 500 Leaf owners’ driving habits. Most Leaf owners drove an average of 7 miles per trip and spent about 2 hours charging the car with a 220-volt charger. Leaf owners are also in the top 15 percent of households with regards to income, according to the report.