When is the Leaf coming?

October 25, 2010

Nissan suspended reservations for the new Leaf electric vehicle after they “sold” out the entire 2011 model year production – 20,000 for the U.S. For those reservation holders, when might cars actually arrive? Nissan won’t say much about orders and production, but enough information has slipped out to allow some estimates.

graph of reservation vs production dates

From postings at the mynissanleaf.com forum and from news reports I found how many U.S. reservations had been made by various dates. E.g., there were 6,750 reservations in the first 3 hours of 4/20, and by the next day the number was up to 12,000.

I also found that the annual production capacity is 50,000 cars, and that 20,000 (40%) are slated to ship to the U.S. in the 2011 model year.  It was also reported that only 12,000 vehicles would be produced by the end of March. So if the U.S. gets the same 40% of that early production, that would mean 4,800 cars from 10/22/10 when the Oppama plant began production through 3/31/11, and then the remainder of the 20,000 cars through 10/21/11.

Nissan says that reservation date determines delivery date, although there are some adjustments for the sequence of roll-out in the different states, and I imagine there will also be adjustments for cities participating in the EV Project. With no data on who reserved when, I ignore the geographic adjustments; i.e. assume that all localities got their reservations in at about the same rate. Then it’s simply a matter of matching the reservations in sequence to the production to determine when cars will be produced for those who reserved on a certain date.

There’s one more crucial factor for which I have no data: the “conversion rate.” How many of the people who deposited $99 to reserve a Leaf will actually follow through and place an order? Not all. Some will be stricken with Range Anxiety (tm GM). Some will change jobs or move so their commute patterns no longer fit with an EV. So besides the unrealistic 100% conversion rate, I also calculated production dates assuming that 40% and that 60% of reservations turn into orders. No doubt Nissan is counting on some attrition, or else with only 20,000 cars available in the U.S. in 2011 they would have none to sell off the lot, none to sell to rental car companies and fleets, and none to use as dealers demos. No doubt Nissan also knows the exact percentage of reservations that are turning into orders, city by city, but of course they aren’t telling.

Production finished assuming
Conversion Rate
Reservation Date Number 100% 60% 40%
04/20/10 6,750 1/20/11 12/15/10 11/27/10
04/21/10 12,000 4/1/11 1/26/11 12/25/10
04/23/10 16,588 4/25/11 4/15/11 4/10/11
04/30/10 20,000 5/13/11 4/26/11 4/18/11
05/13/10 22,500 5/27/11 5/4/11 4/23/11
05/15/10 23,750 6/3/11 5/8/11 4/26/11
05/18/10 30,000 7/6/11 5/28/11 5/9/11
05/28/10 32,500 7/20/11 6/6/11 5/15/11
06/22/10 35,000 8/2/11 6/14/11 5/20/11
07/21/10 40,750 9/2/11 7/2/11 6/1/11
07/27/10 42,500 9/11/11 7/8/11 6/5/11
08/30/10 45,000 9/25/11 7/16/11 6/10/11
09/07/10 46,500 10/3/11 7/21/11 6/14/11
09/23/10 50,000 10/22/11 8/1/11 6/21/11

So for my 8/31 reservation, assuming a 60% conversion rate, that would put my production date around 7/16/11. So I’d expect that Nissan will finally tell me in January when they plan to take my order, take my order in April, and deliver my car in early August. I’d rather have it tomorrow. But there’s one huge practical advantage to getting it so late. The EV Project expects the San Diego recharging infrastructure to begin this month and to be complete by July. The publicly funded portion will be complete, that is. The idea is that private entities will also add charging stations, as Best Buy, Arco gas stations, and Woodinville Lutheran Church are doing.

So in case plans go terribly awry in building that infrastructure, then I should have a pretty good idea of it by the time I can order. In that case an EV might still make sense as a primary car, since we have another gasoline car for weekend trips. And only 100 mile range for my daily commute? I barely drive over 100 miles in a week. Recharging only at home each night ought to work fine. But I want to also be able to use the EV for most of our weekend trips, which are short, but would still require one or two recharges.

Music for today

January 23, 2010

Everything Changes – Sheila Brody

You take a chance, you throw the dice
You risk it all, it’s just a part of life
You hold on tight, to what you know
You can’t hold back, you gotta let it go
Every little step that you embrace
One road ends, another begins and
Takes you to a better place

The End of the End – Paul McCartney

At the end of the end
it’s the start of a journey
to a much better place
and this wasn’t bad
so a much better place
Would have to be special
No need to be sad

Money Changes Everything – Cyndi Lauper

Money changes everything
Money, money changes everything
We think we know what we’re doin’
That don’t mean a thing
It’s all in the past now
Money changes everything

Changes – David Bowie
Hunky Dory, 1972

(Turn and face the strange)
Dont want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strange)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Sunday – David Bowie

In your fear
Of what we have become
Take to the fire
Now we must burn
All that we are
Rise together
Through these clouds
As on wings

Changes – Benny Goodman

There’ll be a change in the weather, a change in the sea.
Before long there’ll be a change in me.
My walk will be diff’rent, my talk and my name,
Ain’t nothin’ about me is gonna to be the same.
I’m goin’ to change my way of livin’, boys, (if) that ain’t enough,
Well then I’ll change the way I strut my stuff,
Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray.
There’ll be some changes made to-daaay.
There’ll be some changes made.

Fixing OO 3.1 spellcheck on OpenSolaris

December 26, 2009

One of Santa’s duties at our house is system administration, Ubuntu, XP, Vista, and OpenSolaris. Why doesn’t the OpenOffice (version 3.1) spell checker work on the OpenSolaris PC? It turns out the dictionary was packaged wrong in OpenSolaris. This affects US English. I don’t know if there are similar problems for other languages. See openoffice.org for the problem report and solution. It’s an easy fix. In OpenOffice go into Tools -> Extension Manager to delete your existing US English dictionary; otherwise the extension manager will refuse to overwrite it with what it thinks is to be an identical version. Then do Tools -> Language -> More Dictionaries Online. Select US English; install; and you’re done.

Profiles in Hypocrisy

October 29, 2009

Joe_Lieberman_official_portraitSen. Joseph Lieberman always used to deplore the filibuster. Win or lose he wanted an honest vote, majority wins. But now he will support a filibuster to prevent a majority vote from occurring. What is so important as to cause the senator to reverse his principled stand against parliamentary chicanery? This long time crusader for states rights and individual freedom is determined to block a bill which would grant states rights to offer their citizens the free choice of government run health insurance like that which Sen. Lieberman himself has enjoyed as a senator for the past twenty years.

Could it be that ole Joe is owned by the insurance industry? He wouldn’t be the only one, and Democrats feature as prominently in the campaign finance disclosures as do Republicans. In the end each congressman will show with his vote whether his loyalty is to the citizens of his district or to the lobbyists who keep him in power, influence, and money.

Congress show the courage of your health care convictions

September 10, 2009

A letter to my representatives…

I am writing to urge you to support health care reform. There must be some public option and it must be an OPTION not mandatory. Doctors and patients should be the primary decision makers. But one thing worse than a government bureaucrat making medical decisions is an insurance company bureaucrat making medical decisions, motivated exclusively by profit and accountable to no one.

Until the bill is passed and signed into law I ask Congress to bolster its determination to stand up to the special interests and make the necessary compromises. Do this by passing a bill to eliminate the public option health care for members of Congress and the White House. Let you all go out on the private insurance market and buy your own health coverage with whatever pre-existing condition restrictions the insurers wish to impose. The experience could concentrate your minds wonderfully to the task at hand.

here I am at work

September 2, 2009

Dilbert.com Fortunately that’s not my current boss but a previous boss. :-)

Migrants lured by social services

September 1, 2009

Some in the U.S. have long complained that illegal immigrants from Mexico are a net drain on society because they use social services like hospital emergency rooms without paying their share of taxes. Now there is hard data showing that indeed large numbers of migrants are crossing the US-Mexico border drawn by available medical care.


Oh, did I mention that the border crossers are headed South? They’re moving to Mexico in order to buy into the state run health plan.


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