Nissan is to start taking reservations from US consumers later this month for its LEAF electric vehicle. A fully refundable down payment of just US$99 will ensure customers are given first crack of the whip when ordering starts for real in August, with nationwide rollout expected early 2011.

Nissan will be offering a one-stop-shop experience for buyers of the LEAF, not only will the company take personal care of delivery but is also offering to have AeroVironment install 220V personal charging docks (for an additional federal tax credit eligible US$2,200 or there abouts).

The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the LEAF has been set at US$32,780 but with eligibility for a US$7,500 federal tax credit guaranteed and numerous regional incentives coming into play, customers could find themselves paying significantly less. The company has also said that monthly lease payments from as little as US$349 can also be arranged.

"Imagine the possibility of never needing to go to a gas station again. Or of paying less than $3 for 100 miles behind the wheel. Or of creating zero emissions while driving," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, NNA. "Nissan leads the industry by offering the first affordable, zero-emission vehicle for the mass market. Nissan LEAF truly is in a class by itself."

The Nissan LEAF comes with a GPS navigation system; Internet, Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity; energy-efficient LED lights; an intelligent key push-button start system; stability and traction control and benefits from six airbags. Optional extras include a spoiler complete with solar cells, rearview monitor, fog lights and automatic headlights.

More information on the vehicle and the reservation process is available from Nissan's US website.