The first all-electric car (from a major manufacturer) has come to fruition. What has remained for years as just a dream for many environmentally-conscious consumers has now been made a reality by Nissan. The Nissan Leaf, which has a release date of December 2010, is causing quite a stir for excited buyers across the country. Not only does the introduction of this sweet ride symbolize the extinction of paying thousands each year to the gas pumps but Leaf purchasers are also going to be rewarded with many more goodies. As of October, 20,000 anxious consumers have already reserved a Leaf and the bonuses they get with this purchase are plenty!
The first string of extras Leaf purchasers receive are special calls and home visits by Nissan’s corporate planning officials. Once the $99 deposit is made to reserve the vehicle, Leaf owners begin experiencing special treatment by Nissan personnel to make sure the transition from gas powered vehicle to electric powered hot-rod (ok, not really) goes as smoothly as possible. This may sound annoying to some, but most consumers who’ve experienced this perk express that they feel like a ‘chosen one’.
But the Nissan Corporation isn’t the only one trying to influence buyers to go-green. State and federal governments are luring potential purchasers in by offering tax credits and rebates to all Leaf owners: And the dollar amounts on these incentives are NOT small. How much is it? $7,500 from the federal government in the form of a tax credit and a $2,500 cash rebate from state governments. Not too shabby! The fun doesn’t stop there, either. The Energy Department is also throwing their goodies into the campaign by installing home-charging units in every Leaf’s new home – a $3,000 value.
After enjoying the monetary gifting from our government, how about enjoying even more benefits for choosing the Leaf? Some cities are offering free parking for Nissan Leafs only – heck, that would be incentive enough for me to purchase one of these! Other cities are building free public charging stations on freeways to make long distance travel possible and little bit easier. For the record, a fully charged Leaf can travel over 100 miles in city driving conditions (stop and go traffic etc).
Do all these freebies make you want to get your hands on one of these new hot rods? For $32,780, a Nissan Leaf can be all yours, making the Leaf the most affordable electric car to date. And just to give you a comparison point: Tesla Motors, another all electric car manufacturer, sells their premium zero-tailpipe emission machines for the low price of $101,500 each. For that price, I think I’ll stick with functionality over luxury, thank you.
On the electric car front, Nissan has certainly taken the bull by the horns. The early mover strategy is working in Nissan’s favor. With the all-electric car market virtually untapped, Nissan has full range to capture this market segment and develop their brand with these consumers before anyone else. This is similar to Toyota’s approach with Hybrid vehicles, for which they are famous for the Prius model. Many consumers who set out to purchase a hybrid vehicle are swayed towards the Prius because of the early mover advantage Toyota instilled in the model. Hopefully the same becomes true for Nissan as well, since the efforts the company is putting into attracting customers is huge – and so far very well received. Hats off to you, Nissan. This looks good!
Do freebies and extras inspire you to make purchases? Do you think the Nissan Leaf marketing campaign is an effective one?