Nissan has made incremental improvements to range and slashed entry-level pricing with the 2013 LEAF.
The rallying cry for EV sellers these days is, Get the range up and the price down! Nissan has answered the call, making incremental improvements to range and slashing entry-level pricing with the 2013 LEAF.
The company is now building LEAFs in Smyrna, Tennessee, with battery packs and electric motors coming from nearby plants, which allows it to reduce costs in several ways. It has introduced a more affordable S grade, and expects to eke out a little better range than the 2012 model’s 73 miles, thanks to improvements in aerodynamics, regenerative braking and energy management.
Now Nissan has announced pricing for the three available trim levels:
The LEAF S (MSRP $28,800) comes with a 3.6 kW onboard charger and a respectable list of standard goodies, including Push Button Start, Bluetooth phone system, power door locks, CD/MP3 player and a 12-volt power outlet. One puzzling omission is cruise control, which is an essential hypermiling tool for EV drivers.
The LEAF SV ($31,820) adds cruise control, a 6.6 kW onboard charger, a more energy-efficient heating system, a better sound system, a 7-inch color LCD display, navigation system with CARWINGS telematics, and 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Nissan says the 2013 LEAF SV represents a $3,380 savings over a similar 2012 model.
The top-of-the-line LEAF SL ($34,840) also has a DC 480 V fast charge port, photovoltaic solar panel rear spoiler, leather seats and 17-inch spoke alloy wheels. All for a $2,410 savings over a similar 2012 model, according to Nissan.
All models are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, and some states, cities and even a few ultra-green employers offer additional incentives.