The Temptingly Affordable Nissan LEAF

By EV World Editorial Staff

Live in the right corner of America and you could end up owning the 2013 Nissan LEAF S for $18,800 after tax credit and rebate... or just lease it for 36-months for $199 a month.

Now that Nissan has begun production of the LEAF all-electric car at its assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, it's expanding the number of models available and cutting the MSRP of the base S model by an enticing $6,000.

Of course, the first question that pops into mind is this: Is this a clever marketing move, a sort of loss-leader strategy to stimulate sales or a play of desperation to move inventory? Likely, it's a bit of both, but for buyers, it represents a pretty good deal. Assuming you live in California, for example, the effective price of the car after federal tax credit and state rebate is just $18,800.

Not sure about owning a LEAF and assuming still-evolving depreciation and future battery replacement costs? Nissan will happily lease you the car for just $199 a month for 36 months.

The SV ($31,820USD) and SL ($34,840USD) models come standard with a 6.6 kW onboard charger for improved charging time. The base S model ($28,800USD) comes with a 3.6 kW onboard charger. The SV model is upgraded to 16-inch alloy wheels. The SL model comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, along with other upgrades, including a DC 480V fast charge, auto off/on LED headlights, fog lights, photovoltaic solar panel rear spoiler and HomeLink Universal Transceiver, yet the MSRP is some $2,410 less than similarly equipped 2012 model. The SV model enjoys even more savings - $3380 - over its 2012 counterpart.

The company explains that it can pass on these savings to buyers because of improvements in manufacturing and localization, including batteries and motors at nearby plants. Reduced exposure to currency fluctuations also helps make possible lower pricing.

Nissan also notes that there have been incremental improvements in the car's aerodynamics, as well as its energy management improvement, which it predicts will result in improvements in range, though it is awaiting EPA verification.

See Nissan's official press release.

Times Article Viewed: 2109
Originally published: 16 Jan 2013


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