Nissans selective electric ‘leaf’ sales
Nissan has refused a number of customers in purchasing its first electric car, the 'Leaf', because they have been deemed as 'not suitable' for ownership. The plug n' go electric car goes on sale in Australia on June 1
Nissan has refused a number of customers in purchasing its first electric car, the 'Leaf', because they have been deemed as 'not suitable' for ownership. The plug n' go electric car goes on sale in Australia on June 1.
To qualify for ownership, customers need to pass a two stage five question test which includes a home visit assessment from Nissans electric contractor Origin Energy, before being issued with a certificate that will allow them to purchase the $51,500 car (plus on-road and dealer costs) which includes a recharging cable, but not a wall recharging station ($2,700 option plus installation costs). According to Nissan, the recharging station isn't a compulsory purchase, but in connecting the Leaf directly into a minimum 15-amp power outlet will cost a few hundred dollars to install and the re-charge process will take five to eight hours to fully charge the vehicle.
Nissan has declined most clients because they don't have off-street parking available to support a safe and convenient recharging environment. Some buyers have been refused if they answered that they regularly drive long distances or interstate - Informing people that the Leaf is not the car for their purposes.
Nissan has gone on record that it intends to maintain its selection criteria, to ensure their customers have a great experience with the Leaf. The company has so far approved 100 customers with another 100 potentials undergoing the test. Nissan hopes electric cars can help to overcome the world's strong reliance on petrol, but at what price - Nissan UK vice president, Andy Palmer did say, the Leaf consisted of 48 separate lithium-ion battery modules and each one would cost £404 ($634) to replace or £19,392 (AU$30,436) for all 48!
If one wants to own the Leaf (90 kw power with a 160 km/h range) then go ahead, fork out around $60K for the privilege, however there are petrol cars (6ltr/100km) costing less than $18K offering greater flexibility and performance.
After five to10 years of driving, the thousands of dollars required to replace Lthium-ion batteries and fees for dumping the expired units (highly toxic non-recyclable pollutants), will outweigh the initial savings in electricity (plus carbon tax) over petrol costs, not to mention the battery-life issue becoming a major hurdle on electric car re-sale values.
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