Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nissan Dealerships: Send me your Allocation

I'm calling out to any Nissan Dealership that's LEAF certified and wishes to post their allocation quotas, or recertify their commitments to MSRP, etc.  Please use the embedded form below to update your details so I can manually update the pages where these issues are covered.  My list of allocation quotes has been retweeted by @NissanLEAF and is a great way to get people to your dealership and I will be creating a new post for the August numbers.  I look forward to helping you connect to your customers!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Greater Washington D.C. Nissan LEAF Allocations for July

The following dealerships still have allocations for you to order your LEAF with them; feel free to check out their web site and then select them as your preferred dealer.

Dealership Contact Phone Original Quota Remaining As of
Tri-State Nissan of Warrenton Brian Nieves 540-667-6800 1 2011-07-29 10:45
Nissan of Chantilly Justin Maynard 703-889-3700 3 1 2011-07-29 19:00
Koons Falls Church Nissan Carlos Perez 877-702-9995 5 2 2011-07-29 16:10

The way the allocation quota system works is simple: we, the customer choose a preferred dealer and select our options.  Our Nissan Dashboard then gives us the MSRP of our selection and we're presented with a button to Request a Quote from our preferred Dealer.

Meanwhile, the dealerships all have their own dashboards at  From there they can see all the quote requests and send out their price quotes for the as-configured LEAF.  But here's where these numbers get involved.

Each area dealer is assigned a quota for the maximum number of orders they may submit.  Let's assume your preferred dealer is allocated 4 orders and has already submitted all 4 of those orders.  When you come in requesting a quote, that dealership won't be able to order your car until the next month when the next set of dealership quotas are posted since his current quota is filled.  I'm not sure if they'll send you a price quote in this circumstance but the quota means that if the dealer has no more slots, you will end up waiting longer.  The dealers above have guaranteed slots as of the time given in the right column.

The Quota System was introduced late last year when it was found certain dealerships were dominating their markets with seriously marked down LEAF prices.

As always, call your dealership first to arrange price and find out if they have any remaining slots.  More than enough slots are allocated for each region so if one dealership has fulfilled his quota, just try another one.  However, a dealer's subsequent month's allocation quota will be based on the number of orders submitted in the current month, so let's all make sure our favorite dealers are getting the business they deserve today so that can continue to get the business they deserve tomorrow!

Tri-State Nissan

1230 Millwood Pike
Winchester, VA 22602
Contact: Brian Nieves (Internet Manager)

Still looking to Request a Quote for a LEAF?

And in the Winchester, VA area?  I could not recommend more highly Tri-State Nissan!  Brian Nieves at Tri-State is on the ball and ready to help you join the electric revolution.  But you'd better hurry: Tri-State only has 1 (ONE) LEAF ordering spot left so you'd better hurry!

What do you get for going with Tri-State Nissan?  Well, whether you're buying a Gasoline Powered Vehicle, a Gasoline Electric Hybrid or a pure battery electric vehicle, one thing you'll always need are good tires — and that's just what you'll get from Tri-State Nissan: Lifetime Tire and Rotation coverage.  And what's more, Tri-State is willing to pledge the MSRP Guarantee.

So give Brian a call or drop him a line and enter the zero-emission club!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My LEAF is ordered

And all I had to do was click the little yellow button; now begins the long — well, not so long — wait for delivery.  Justin, man, I owe you dinner!  You came through for me with MSRP!

You can read my order details here at the MyNissanLEAF Order Details thread.

2012 LEAF: Sloppy Seconds?

As my regular readers know, I'm usually trying to put a positive spin on a number of things, but every so often, I feel the need to get nasty and I think with the constant delay with respect to ordering of the 2012 Nissan LEAF, I can't help but ponder a bit the changes between this model year car and the previous one.

I've already reported that the price difference between the 2011 and 2012 model years is $1,490 for the base SV trim and $1,900 for the base SL trim and I stand by that.  Any site which exaggerates this price difference is likely to get a comment from me seeking to rectify the situation since I'm all about the truth.

After all, you're getting a complimentary Cold Weather Package with that cost increase, and the TEPCO plug on the SL trim, so a lot of the cost is just those options or alternate Trim levels carried over from the previous model year as standard.  Then again, how useful is the Cold Weather Trim in Florida?

But what else is new in the 2012 LEAF?  Did they add the 6.6kW charger?  No, not even as an option!  Have they made improvements to the batteries or the charge capacity?  No.  Have they improved the Software?  Yes, but 2011 drivers are getting that update for free.  Have they improved the motor or the aerodynamic?  Have they added a new audio or driving comfort option?  No, apart from what's already included in the Cold Weather Package.  The Cold Weather Package isn't even exclusive to the 2012 LEAF: it was an available trim level for the 2011 LEAF late in the model year.

So what do you get for your $1,490 - $1,900 in new model year premiums?  Nothing!  You don't get anything for this cost increase.  If you're in the original Tier 2 states of AL, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC and VA:

  • not only was your ordering window delayed by 7 months and now 4 more days

  • not only were you kept in the dark about Nissan's plans for Tier 2

  • not only were you forced to listen to Nissan rant and rave about how great a car the LEAF is even though you couldn't (easily) buy it

  • not only were you still denied the long sought after 6.6kW charging option that the Ford Focus Electric is beating the LEAF's ass on

  • not only were you denied the color Green, a natural for a car called LEAF

  • not only were you given the same set of Port Options / Accessories as 2011

Not only all of that, but you're also going to have to pay about 5% more for it.

Thanks a lot, Nissan!

Originally, I was all in favor of those of us in Tier 2 getting first pick of the brand-spanking-new 2012 model year under the assumption that it would be an improvement, even if just a slight improvement, over the 2011 as a reward for braking their commitment and forcing us to wait an extra half-year to order the car we've been pining for since at least 20 April 2010.  Now I say, bring me the Smyrna 2013!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dominion Virginia Power TOU Rates coming in October

Dominion Virginia Power Moving Forward with Electric Vehicle Recharging Pilot

The State Corporation Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia has approved two new EV-oriented Time-Of-Use rates.  As discussed previously, these new rates could save you as much as $200 per year.  I hope in the coming months to bring a piece I've been working on which will explore the details of these new rates, but the short summary is the savings I've calculated and the fact that only 750 homes will qualify for the second meter EV-TOU rate and another 750 for the household TOU rate.

The program begins on 3 October, which would be within a month or 2 prior to the arrival of the first official Nissan LEAFs in the Commonwealth, but well within reach of current Chevrolet Volt and Smart Electric Drive owners.

I personally hope to get into this program though I'm not yet sure whether I want to go household or EV-only.  Thus, I will be presenting the pros and cons of each in a future post and hope that you, my friendly reader, will offer my advice as I make this exciting decision.

Wanna LEAF? Lemme into your home…

Well, some dealerships on the dealer website opened up yesterday and some LEAF Quotes were posted and Orders submitted, but now you need a Home Assessment to get your car ordered.  Home assessment? you ask.  Didn't they waive that with the Tier 2 orders?  You're quite astute.  And no doubt my regular readers remember I've had an EVSE since last December; I don't need another one.  That's why I requested an assessment Waiver last November.

We have revealed yet a new bug in the Nissan LEAF web site.

This isn't the first problem with the Nissan LEAF website during the 2012 ordering process.  A quick perusal of the MyNissanLeaf forums reveals a number of web site shenanigans for the 2012 orders.  Most notably, on Monday, no dealership seemed to have their dashboard opened and the customer dashboards were all looking like they have since last week with the notice that the 2011 model year was sold out.

Then, Tuesday morning, customers were told that they had to select a preferred dealer in Tennessee in order to get their car because their local dealer wasn't allowed to sell the LEAF.  One MyNissanLEAF member in North Carolina was able to Request a Quote and get his order in but most were stymied until this error was fixed.

However, by that afternoon the customer Nissan LEAF Account Dashboard had started reporting the Home Assessment requirement.  I spent most of last night dealing with customer service over this issue, missing much of my writer's meetup since I didn't have time to read all this week's submissions.  The long and short of this is you give customer service your phone number and they'll call you when the problem is fixed — and that's gonna mean calling a lot of people.

As for our friend in North Carolina who was able to successfully order a 2012 Nissan LEAF?  Well, it's likely his order went through since his dealership should have been able to submit the order through their Dashboard, which as far as we know is working properly.  But as far as his customer Dashboard, he says it now reports that he has yet to place his order.


Well, folks, let them roll out the kinks; Software Engineering isn't magic and some bugs are hard to quash.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride — after all, man, it's not like those mellow left-coasties didn't go through the same thing.  Peace out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What options are available on the 2012 LEAF?

With the first orders of the 2012 LEAF it comes time to update the price list for the 2012 model year now available.  My friend Bruce Kim at Herb Gordon Nissan of Silver Spring, MD (who I can't more highly recommend as a preferred dealership) has been kind enough to send me the official price list for the new model year car.  The long and short of it is there's not been much change to the Port Options / Accessories list and they've confirmed that the 6.6kW charger is still a pipe dream that won't see the light of day until the 2013 model year.  The main take away apart from the already released price is the official cost of the "Zero Emissions" Graphic which I failed to mark in the 2011 edition; I've added it here. I don't have invoice costs yet but as I don't know of any Below MSRP dealerships in the Tier 2 rollout region yet but will update this chart when it becomes available.

Any number in italics is speculative based on last year's value.  Also note that it is my understanding that there is no more money for the ETEC Grant from the Department of Energy and since the CHADeMO port is already included in the price of the trim level.

Nissan LEAF Trim Levels

Code Description List Price / MSRP Invoice 2011 List Price 2011 Invoice Comments
17112 SV $35,200 $33,707 $32,780 $31,394 Includes $930 Cold Weather Trim; $1,490 net cost increase
17212 SL $37,250 $35,668 $33,720 $32,293 Includes $700 Fast Charge Port and $930 Cold Weather Trim; $1,900 net cost increase

As stated above, there are no factory-installed options for the 2012 model year LEAF.

Nissan LEAF Port-Installed Options / Accessories

Code Description List Price / MSRP Invoice SV Trim? SL Trim? Comments
L92 Floor Mats & Cargo Mat Area $170 $131 Yes Yes
B92 Splash Guards $140 $110 Yes Yes
M94 Recycling / Organizational Package $225 $178 Yes Yes
M92 Cargo Cover $290 $219 Yes Free
M93 Cargo Net $20 $15 Yes Yes Not available with M94 Recycling / Organizational Package
N92 Hologram Kick Plates $125 $99 Yes Yes Not available with B93 Eco Design Package
B93 Eco Design Package $260 $219 Yes Yes Not available with B95 "Zero Emissions" Graphic or N92 Hologram Kick Plates
B94 Protection Package $225 $183 Yes Yes Includes front and rear bumper clear protectors
S92 Safety Kit $75 $63 Yes Yes Includes First Aid Kit and Emergency Kit
B95 "Zero Emissions" Graphic $130 $105 Yes Yes Not available with B93 Eco Design Package

Now there are also options that can be installed at the Dealership that would likely have the highest markup and profit margin if charged, such as Alloy Wheel Locks — though, as I pointer out there are some dealerships where that's a complimentary upgrade and shouldn't count against the unexpected options pledge.  I would also like to point out that we customers shouldn't blame our poor dealerships for the $1,490 - $1,900 price increase over the 2011 model year.  It's unlikely that the difference extends from a jacking up over invoice since the Invoice to MSRP margin is usually very small.  That said, it's possible that Nissan North America may have agreed to this to compensate dealerships for the expense of installing EVSEs on their lots, though the more likely explanation is a weak dollar and a strong Yen.  In fact, what we can see from Edmunds is that the invoice price gap is even greater, with a $2,313 price increase for the SV and a $3,395 increase for the SL.  However, this is comparing apples to oranges because the 2011 Invoice doesn't include the Cold Weather Trim or the Quick Charge Port — in fact, we still don't know what the invoice cost was on the Cold Weather Trim option for the 2011 LEAF was.  What we can say for sure is the net profit above MSRP is now $1,493 for the SV and $1,582 for the SL trim or about 4.24%, same as last year.  This means the net profit margin for the dealers has increased, but only slightly since the 2011 model.  This supports the idea that the increase is due mainly to the weak dollar and a strong yen.

Nissan LEAF Colors

Code Name Example
QX1 Glacial Pearl
RAT Blue Ocean
K23 Brilliant Silver
KH3 Super Black
NAH Cayenne Red

Same colors as last year; still no green LEAFs.

Personally, I think it most likely that the set of options and trim I'll be picking tomorrow on this car still lacking a 6.6kW charger will be the SL trim with all port options and in Red (as we still lack Green).  Then again, $39,455 (with Destination charge, before tax) is a butt-load of money to pay for a car, even with a $7,500 tax credit.  It was one thing when there wasn't this new $1,900 premium on the 2012 model SL over the 2011, but now it just seems the cost is ridiculous.  Will I order it tomorrow?  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mark your Calendars Tier 2: 27 July 2011

I have it direct from my new preferred dealership Nissan of Chantilly that their dashboards will be opening up 27 July 2011 for ordering the 2012 Nissan LEAF!  After all these months, it's been hard to decide who to make my preferred dealership what with ordering right around the corner, but I have a long-standing relationship with Justin at Nissan of Chantilly and although he's currently on vacation I'm told that at least this dealership will be able to send out offers this Wednesday.

I'm going on faith that Justin's agreement to MSRP for the LEAF and no surprise options still stands when my Dashboard opens but am waiting to hear back from them about that.  In the mean time, I welcome everyone to call your preferred dealer this week to confirm the 27 July date.

Are you excited yet?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Come see the LEAF in my home town!

Come see the LEAF in my home town of West Hartford, CT this weekend!  I'll be there Saturday at 14:00 for my drive time if y'all wanna stop by and say hi.

The LEAF Electric Drive Tour will be opened from tomorrow, Friday 22 July at 9am and closes its doors for Boston on Sunday 24 July at 6pm. The event will be held at the Westfarms Mall, on the border between West Hartford and Farmington, CT:


500 Westfarms Mall

Farmington, CT 06032

You can sign up for your drive time at the official Drive Electric Tour website.

Curious who has the most reservations in the Wave 2 and Wave 3 markets?  Well, here in Wave 2 D.C., we have 130 active reservations, and Long Island, New York in Wave 3 127!  Can you guess who has the least reservations pending?  Find it on the Drive Electric Facebook page!  Just mouse over a tour city and a tool-tip will pop up with the number of reservations that location now has.

So come on, take a drive into the future New England!  If you can't make West Hartford, CT, it's coming to Boston next week and Wave 3 will be opening for orders sooner than you think!

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nay Sayers! Eat This! Order You LEAF Next week!

Yes, Chris at Criswell comes through and here's the proof.  I just received the following e-mail from Nissan:

Hi redacted, thanks for reserving and patiently waiting to order your 100% electric Nissan LEAF™. We're very excited to let you know you'll be able to order your new 2012 Nissan LEAF next week.

So what is new for the 2012 Nissan LEAF? We have taken feedback directly from our customers by making the most popular optional equipment on the 2011 model standard equipment on the 2012.

This equipment includes a battery heater for cold-weather operation, heated outside mirrors, heated front steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and rear HVAC duct. The Quick Charge Port is also added as standard equipment on the Nissan LEAF SL model.

The 2012 Nissan LEAF is available starting at $369 a month/36-month lease ($2,599 initial payment – excludes tax, title and license)*.

We'll send you an e-mail when it's time to work with a dealer to pick your car's color, review options and get a quote.

For more information available to Nissan LEAF reservation holders, please click here.

Now, although the MSRP for the 2012 LEAF isn't quoted in this e-mail, it can be found in the official press release from this morning: $35,200 for the base SV trim level and $37,250 for the base SL.  The lease is still pretty low but since I drive a lot more than the 15K mile terms of the lease per year, it really won't easily work for me.  Also, I'm really pretty desperate to get the 6.6kW charger for the J1772 port which still isn't scheduled to be in the car until the 2013 model year when the car's manufactured at the new Smyrna plant.

I also received this posting from one of my blog readers which I have edited to take out his or her personal information

I have reservation number redacted reserved on 4/20/2010. As of Saturday 16 July I have not had word one from Nissan on ordering since 12/19/2010. I haven't even had a Leaf News since 3/29/2011. My profile states my reservation is complete, but all other options have been disabled. So no I do not believe all 2 areas will be allowed to order. In fact, I doubt they let the rest of the country order until the 2013's start rolling off the TN plant.

I am very happy to report you as incorrect on the first point.  And, for those waiting for the cold weather package, here it is.  For those in the Eye-Poked Eight states of AL, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, as well as the newly added Tier 2 states of IL and MS, your time has finally come!  So call your dealer and verify the price now because if you don't like the price you're offered when your dashboard opens you'll have to wait 24 hours to renegotiate and order again!

And what about the rest of the U.S.?  Well, after Tier 2, or Wave 2 as it's now called, we have the following from that press release:

Nissan will expand into additional new markets as the year continues. In the fall, orders from existing reservations and new reservations will begin in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By the end of the year, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will be added as markets where the Nissan LEAF will be available for order.

In other words, Wave 3 will include CT, CO, MA, NH, NJ and NY, bringing the total number of states including the District of Columbia up to 22 23.  Then Wave 4 begins with DE, IN, LA, NE, OH, PA and RI, bring us to 30 31 of 51!  Finally, the remaining 21 20 states will be able to order for the final tier, Wave 5.

So congratulations Tier 2!  Here's to making the Right Coast the Environmental Coast!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Maryland forges ahead as a leader in EV Preparedness

New Study Outlines Alternative Energy Options

A new report by WJZ, the main CBS affiliate in Baltimore, MD, has a new story about how Maryland is leading the charge to charge your electric vehicle!

Featured in this story is my friend and fellow EVA/DC member Mahi Reddy, CEO of SemaConnect EV Technology.  Congratulations to Mahi for an excellent interview and for SemaConnect for helping make Maryland a leader in the green revolution!