Want a Nissan LEAF? Get on the list

Nissan LEAFAll indications are pointing toward a stampede to buy EVs and PHEVs when they first go on the market.

More than 50,000 people have signed on to Lyle Dennis’ GM Volt unofficial “Want List” at http://gm-volt.com/join-us/.

Now, according to various online news outlets, Nissan plans to start taking orders for its Leaf EV in the U.S. sometime this spring — well before the car actually rolls onto U.S. lots.

One Nissan official has said he anticipates 20,000 “pre-orders”.

So, if you’re thinking EV and/or PHEV right now, apparently so are tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of other Americans.

The bottom line: Getting online with, what, ideally, would be a solar-charged EV or PHEV, might take awhile for some of us who either lose out in the stampede, or decide to wait until after the stampede.

The good news for those who miss out or who wait: Prices surely will be at their highest in the first year an EV or PHEV model hits dealer lots.

The bad news: Only the first 250,000 EV/PHEV stampeders will grab the biggest federal tax credit of $7,500. After that, the tax credit will drop substantially and eventually dissipate to no credit at all.

In the end, possible sticker price drops for “laggards” who purchase a particular EV/PHEV model, say, two years after the first model hits the lots might be less than the large federal tax credit successful stampeders pocket. Meaning, those who wait might actually end up paying more.

Then again, if consumers hesitate in years two through four after EV/PHEV introduction, automakers and dealers will presumably be forced to drop prices.

The big questions, then, for those eagerly eying EVs and PHEVs:

1. To stampede, or not to stampede?
2. Who will pay more, the early stampeders, the middle stampeders, or the psuedo late-comers, who wait for years two through four of an EV or PHEV model introduction to buy?