Nissan won’t sell their much ballyhooed pure plug-in Leaf until December. But a successful launch wants to be well planned, and Nissan thinks of everything. They won’t sell you the Leaf just yet. But you can already buy the charger. If you bank account is properly charged.
In Japan, Nissan started sales of quick chargers for the Leaf, The Nikkei [sub] reports. It won’t be as quick as gassing up your car. The gizmo will fill up your battery to 80 percent of capacity in half an hour.
Nevertheless, Nissan doesn’t anticipate the machine to be a runaway seller. “Nissan is targeting sales of 100 units in the current fiscal year,” (which lasts until March 31 of 2011) says the Nikkei. Why the diminutive sales target? Money. The standard model costs 1,470,000 yen, which converts to shock and awe inspiring $16,371 at today’s rate. Yes, you read right. For the charger, not for the car. And that’s for the base model. If you want a “cold climate” charger, be prepared to pay $17,190. The “hot climate” charger inexplicably sets you back a cool $19,294.
Now we are beginning to understand what Nissan meant when they said they’ll use the “iPod model” when marketing the Leaf: They’ll sell you an expensive charger.
The less well heeled will not be left behind. Nissan will make the charger available at 200 of their Japanese dealerships. It will work with electric vehicles of other automakers, Nissan said. For a full half hour, you’ll be at the mercy of a salesperson until your car is back to 80 percent charge. Now that’s an ingenious way of driving traffic.