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So here we go, this post has been a week coming, I just haven't had the time do get it together. About a month ago, perhaps a little more, I did something that seemed to upset quite a few people, even apparently some people at Nissan! I posted the opportunity to buy my Nissan Leaf on Ebay. That lasted all of a few minutes, I’m not even sure how long the auction was up 24 hours before I was asked to (or really it was suggested that I ) remove it. So down it came, along with the posts that I had put up announcing it.

What people didn’t know was that I had been posting the Leaf on craigslist here in the bay area for a month or more before it was ever listed on Ebay. I had a few inquiries from the Craigslist ad, though many of those inquiries were just your typical internet trolls complaining. Some even took the time to email me and call me an “Idiot” I appreciate that someone took the time to do that.

So back to Ebay, I pulled the ad, I removed the blog/forum posts, I cleared most of my tracks at the threat of losing the right to purchase the Leaf. I even quit posting the ad on Craigslist. After the ad came down from Ebay people started coming out of the wood work asking to buy the car. Fortunately for me I had lined someone up before I even pulled the Ebay ad down. In fact the ad didn’t even have anything to do with getting rid of my car, the Craigslist ad came through.

What? I thought you purchased the Leaf last week?

Well, technically I did, for a little while anyways. I had a guy fly in from Detroit on Monday of last week, we drove from the airport to the dealer, then the bank, then the dealer again. The dealer wouldn’t take a cashier’s check, so we had to go to the bank and have the money wired from their bank, to the dealer’s bank, which was all of 1 block away. Unfortunately the dealer’s bank became a problem and wouldn’t show the transfer as posting until the following day. So in order for us to drive the car off the lot that day I ended up having to take a loan out on the car as a fall back contract, in case the transfer didn’t go through.

After about 4 hours of things we finally left the dealer, I in my 350z and the new owner in the Nissan Leaf. I didn’t even get to drive the thing! Though I did sit in it a few times

So there it is, I no longer own a 2011 Nissan Leaf? Why might you ask? Well it really doesn’t matter what I say, people are going to hate on me. But here goes my explanation with a little backstory.

Back in April of 2010 I got an email from Nissan announcing the preorder process for the Leaf, I jumped on things and signed up, immediately preordering as soon as I could. Shortly after that I setup www.LeafOwner.com with the thought of creating a website dedicated to the Leaf. I got some good traffic, with the help of some key features on Engadget, AutoBlogGreen and even two different tweets from Lance Armstrong!

I was thrilled at the idea of getting a Leaf, I have an 8-9 mile commute, so it was going to work out perfectly for that. I was one of the first people to get the Aerovironment charger inspections, I asked my landlord if we could get an install going. From there things actually started to sour a bit. I got the charger assessment back and it was for $2200, roughly $800 for the charger/shipping, and then the rest for the installation, for about an hour’s worth of labor and maybe $100 worth of equipment.

As the summer progressed I kept up with the Leaf, attending events to see the car when I could, and then went through the ordering process, that is when things really went south for me. I went ahead and ordered the car, as a lease option, but when I started thinking about it, the lease was going to be $420 a month. I started thinking, 420 a month could go towards a very nice car payment, rather than “renting” a very expensive Nissan Versa.

I’ll take some hits for that, but to me that is what the car ultimately became. It’s an economy sized hatchback, that when fully priced out last week was $38k. While there are lots of cool geeky features in the Leaf, the only real addition above and beyond a Versa was the batteries, the electric aspect. So I decided that the car most likely wasn’t for me.

In October I went to the driving events that Nissan was doing, and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. I drove the car, and after driving corvettes, camaros, and 350zs I just couldn’t see myself driving the Leaf, not at the cost.

I’m a car guy, I always have been, and the later it got into 2010 the more I had the itch to start racing cars again. I am now actively autocrossing my 350z (www.project350z.com). Heck, for the price that the Leaf ultimately cost I could have purchased a brand new 2010 Nismo 370z! Though I didn’t want to do that either, spending more money just wasn’t in the cars right now. My 350z cost me $12k, and that’s a lot smaller car payment than a new Leaf would be, and the car ultimately becomes more useful to me as I can autocross it.

So in the end, to sum things up. The price of the electric car killed it for me. I’m not saying I will never own another Leaf, or an electric car, but right now it just didn’t make sense to me. In the future I do hope to own an electric car, heck maybe I’ll build an electric VB Bug for www.projectvw.com in the future. But for now, I’ll let the early adopters help to bring the price of the electric car down.

For those of you who choose to hate me for that, I am sorry that you feel that way, but that’s the beauty of our wonderful country, everyone gets to have their own opinion.

(if you’re interested in purchasing LeafOwner.com let me know!)

So there has been some discussion here on LeafOwner.com about the potential that dealers will try to price gouge when the Leaf comes out. I recently went to visit a local Nissan Dealer, Boardwalk Nissan in Redwood City and will admit I didn't have the best of experiences, they didn't have ANY info on the Leaf at the time, I am hoping that has changed, so I just reached out to a sales guy who contacted me due to the previous sales guy I was dealing with having left.

So here's what I emailed the guy, I'll post back to this thread later when I hear back, assuming I hear back.

NAME REMOVED,

Thanks for the phone call last night. I do have a few questions that I could use your assistance.

I have money down on a Leaf (I paid $99 back on 4/20), I realize they aren't going to be available until December, but was wondering if you had any more info about them?

Here's what I currently know. By the end of this month Nissan will be contacting me to give me more info. Sometime this summer they will send out an electrician to the house to see if installing a charger is possible or not, and to give an estimate of what that cost will be. This fall they are going to be doing some driving promotions where you can test drive a Leaf. This fall those who are interested will work with a dealer to purchase the car. Then sometime starting in December a lucky few who preordered the Leaf will get them delivered, I am hoping because we are in the bay area that I have a good shot at getting one of the first, also because I preregistered very early on.

I am looking for a dealer who is going to sell me a Leaf at or below MSRP, I am not willing to pay a markup cost for this car, and I will find a dealer that will sell me one at a good price, even if I have to tow the car home to do it. I would hope that Boardwalk Nissan can do this, but I have never purchased a car from you guys so I don't know what to expect yet.

I'm a Nissan kind of guy, I have a 350z currently (my second one) and I've owned a 240z and 280z as well. My wife and I were in at Boardwalk looking at Jettas, that was for her as a replacement for the F-250 she drives right now (for that horse trailer we talked about). The Leaf would be my commuter car if I get one.

Thanks for your help,

Chris

Have you reached out to a dealer? Had any luck?

So today my wife and I headed up to Sacramento (110 miles or so from where we live). In case you hadn’t heard there’s this little thing going on in the state this week, called the Amgen Tour Of California, only the largest bicycle race in the United States. While I have attended a bike race or two in the past, and taken quite a few photos at them, the race itself was not the reason we headed up there.

On Friday we received an email that Nissan would be travelling around with the bike race with a Nissan Leaf in tow, setting up at the finish festivals letting the public see the car. Since I registered for the opportunity to purchase a Leaf on 4/20, I’ve been stoked about this whole process, and I just had to see the car in person. So the wife and I hopped into the Project350z and drove up to Sacramento for a few hours.

We got up there, found a decent parking space and headed off to walk around the various vendors trying to track down the Leaf! We ended up seeing all the vendors and finding the Nissan booth last. I spent probably an hour or so there, taking various photos, looking the car over, and talking to various reps who were there. Unfortunately the car was pretty much on lockdown, you could get close to it, but couldn’t open up any of the fun parts! The windows were up on this sunny beautiful day, and unfortunately that caused for some glare problems with trying to take interior pictures. I took 152 photos, but after trying to filter through some of them we’ve uploaded a large number of them.

Hopefully by taking a look at some of these photos you’ll see different things on the Leaf that you might not have seen in other photos that have been published elsewhere.

We didn’t learn too much different from the event, but it was nice to see the car in person. The only major thing I learned was that in addition to the $7500 government tax credit, California residents may be able to get a $5000 tax rebate, as well as the rebates for the charger installation. That could really make the Leaf a no brainer!

Here are some of the photos, though be sure to check out the full listing of photos from the Amgen Tour Of California Stage 1

Control Center Nissan Leaf Underbody Nissan Leaf Underbody Driver's Side Rear of Nissan Leaf Nissan Leaf Roof and Wing

Interesting news found as I read through the Autoblog Green today (I'm a changed man reading Autoblog Green now, the thought of getting a Leaf has me all sorts of weird).

There was an article from Monday posted there about Eaton developing fast charging systems for both home and commercial use electric vehicles. That strikes me of interest because I have a buddy, one of my former codriver's in the CorvetteZ06.org car, that works for Eaton. I've already sent him an email to see what kind of discount I can get :)

Check out the full Eaton writeup at Autoblog Green including the press release
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Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke development, so you will find a variety of topics here on the website. For more information check out the about me page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at https://www.christoc.com/