The Nissan LEAF: Why It Will Be Profitable From the Get-Go

Priced at just under $33,000, the upcoming Nissan LEAF could be one of the cheapest highway-capable electric vehicles on the road in coming years. Mark Perry, director of product planning and strategy for Nissan North America, told us at our Green:Net conference last week that the automaker expects to make money on the LEAF from the get-go.

That contrasts with competitors like General Motors, which has said it will likely sell the upcoming plug-in Chevy Volt at a loss for at least the first generation, despite a higher price tag than the LEAF. According to Perry, Nissan will be in the black with its inaugural electric model largely because of years of work developing and investing in battery technology.

Perry also revealed at Green:Net that Nissan had collected 8,000 reservations for the LEAF in the nine days since it began taking $99 (fully refundable) deposits for the vehicle. Check out this video interview with Perry at the event talking about who’s signing up to buy these cars, what the next steps are after handing over a deposit and how Nissan expects to turn a profit on the LEAF: