FRANKLIN, TN - Nissan Motor Co. said on April 23 that buyers have already reserved more than 20 percent of the first year's production of its Leaf electric vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Approximately 6,600 consumers in the U.S. have paid the $99 reservation fee. Moreover, about 3,700 have paid the fee in Japan. 

Nissan plans to manufacture about 50,000 Leaf vehicles the first year. The automaker hopes to have about 40 percent reserved by December, when the car goes on sale. 

Designed for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, the zero-emission Leaf is a medium-sized hatchback that seats five adults.

Including the $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Leaf will be eligible, the consumer's after-tax cost of the vehicle will be $25,280. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 Leaf is $32,780, which includes three years of roadside assistance. 

Additionally, there is an array of state and local incentives that may further defray the costs, such as a $5,000 statewide tax rebate in California; a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia; a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon; and carpool-lane access in some states, including California.