Leaf sales poised to bloom

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

Have car buyers lost interest in the Nissan Leaf?

Despite all the hoopla over Nissan's electric-powered vehicle late last year, a measly 1,025 Leafs have been sold this year through April.

Have Leaf sales short-circuited?

No. The issue is a supply problem -- there's only a 14-day supply of Leafs in this country. Despite news stories that Japanese automakers have cut production due to the earthquake and tsunami, Nissan is actually boosting Leaf output each month in Japan. In fact, April sales accounted for 56 percent, or 573 units, of the Leafs sold this year. Leaf sales are limited to just seven states.

Based on orders and hand-raisers, Nissan expects to end the year with sales north of 10,000 units.

Not bad for an electric vehicle's first year.