Nissan announces pricing for its new all-electric LEAF, a compact hatchback with a 100-mile range that arrives in dealerships this fall. Nissan LEAF has caused a big stir in the automotive world since being revealed in 2009. Due to its unique position as a mainstream all-electric car, much of this stir has been speculation over its sticker price. On Tuesday, Nissan ended that speculation by announcing a base price of $32,780 – or, after federal tax credits of $7,500, a surprisingly low $25,280. Certain states, such as California, offer further rebates with $5,000 tax credit brings the price to just over $20,000. The LEAF will also be available for lease at $349 per month after a $1,999 down payment, before applicable federal tax credits.
The base price of the LEAF – which begins arriving in dealerships in December – includes its 24 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery, but does not include a 220-volt home charging dock, offered by Nissan for $2,200 including installation. However, even the charging dock is eligible for a 50% federal tax credit, bringing its total cost down to $1,100.
Nissan recommends a 220-volt dock, which can fully charge the LEAF in eight hours, instead of conventional outlet, which can take up to 16 hours. Apart from a home dock, the LEAF’s only other recharging option is a public charging station, currently only found in a handful of American cities. In addition to its futuristic powertrain, the base price of the LEAF – an acronym for “Leading Environmentally-friendly Affordable Family car” – includes a generous list of standard equipment. The base SV model includes a remote starter, Bluetooth capability, LED headlights, and a navigation system designed to help locate public charging stations. For a $940 premium, the upscale LEAF SL adds a rearview camera and automatic headlights. A generous standard feature list was important to Nissan, who expects to build 50,000 LEAFs within its first two years or production before substantially increasing output in 2013.
In terms of driving experience, the 110-horsepower LEAF should perform similarly to a regular gasoline-powered car, though its 100-mile cruising range and 87mph top speed are minor limitations. But with speculation ended on LEAF pricing, it appears the first-ever mainstream all-electric car is finally within reach of buyers.