Electric Vehicles no image

Published on March 30th, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

28

It’s Official: Nissan LEAF Electric Car Will Cost $32,780 – Could Be $20K After Tax Credits

Over a morning conference call for just a few members of the media — of which I was happy to be a part during my layover in Seattle on my way out to the New York Auto Show — Brian Carolin, Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, spilled the long-awaited pricing beans on the upcoming Nissan LEAF electric car.

Contrary to some of the recent rumors, at a base price of $32,780 it is relatively affordable… so affordable, in fact, that, after the $7,500 federal tax credit, Nissan is able to offer the LEAF for a lease price of $349 a month not including generous state incentives. When you add in some of those — like a $5,000 tax credit in California, up to $6,000 in Colorado, $5,000 in Georgia, and $1,500 in Oregon — all of a sudden you might be talking a final price of around $20K.

As Mr. Carolin said during the conference call, the LEAF lease of $349 runs for 36 months and includes a $1,999 down payment. Nissan has always said they want to storm the market with EVs, and at that price it certainly seems attainable. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to get a $33,000 car for $20,000 — regardless of its propulsion system? But with this one, you get zero emissions and incredibly cheap “fueling” costs to boot.

“Imagine the possibility of never needing to go to a gas station again. Or of paying less than $3 for 100 miles behind the wheel. Or of creating zero emissions while driving,” said Mr. Carolin. “Nissan leads the industry by offering the first affordable, zero-emission vehicle for the mass market. Nissan LEAF truly is in a class by itself.”

Two Trim Levels

The starting price of $32,780 is for the SV “base” model with standard equipment such a navigation system, Internet connectivity, bluetooth, LED headlights, a key with push button start, Sirius/XM satellite radio, roadside assistance, stability control, traction control and six airbags. The LEAF also comes standard with many recycled and recyclable materials, including seat fabric, instrument panels, and front- and rear-bumper fascias.

In addition to the base model, Nissan will also be offering a more tricked out SL model for an additional $940. The SL adds in features such as a rearview monitor, a solar panel spoiler, fog lights, and automatic headlights. Production of both trim levels will begin in September although they won’t hit showrooms until December. Brian Carolin said that there will be approximately 50,000 LEAFs available for sale in the 2011 calendar year.

Home Charging Stations

Also announced during the conference call was an option for the installation of a 220V home charging station priced at an “average cost” of  $2,200. Of course, actual pricing may vary widely depending on the electrical state of your home, but a home wiring assessment is included at no charge.

The stations will be built and installed by AeroVironment and can be bought at the same time as the vehicle. If that cost is rolled into the lease price, it would add an extra $30 a month to the lease. Both the charging station and the installation are eligible for a 50% federal tax credit up to $2,000. Based on average electricity rates in the US, Nissan is claiming that the LEAF will cost less than $3 to “fill up” in your garage.

Purchase Process Revealed

As has long been known, the LEAF will go on sale in December of this year. Those who are signed up on the LEAF interest list (of which Nissan says there are now 85,000!) will be given the first shot at getting their names in line on the actual reservation list when Nissan opens it up on April 20. To ensure your place in line at that time, you’ll need to pay a fully refundable $99 reservation fee.

In August, people who have plunked down the $99 reservation fee will be able to start ordering their own LEAFs based on their place on the list and geographic location. Nissan has guaranteed certain areas of the US — such as Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and some parts of California — access to the LEAF first. If you don’t live in those areas, don’t fret, every month of 2011 Nissan plans on adding additional markets so that “By the end of 2011 [the LEAF] will be nationwide,” as Carolin said. Paying the reservation fee also allows you access to “special upcoming Nissan LEAF events,” according to Nissan.

So, now that we know the actual base starting price of the LEAF, what do you think? Is the second coming of the electric car all starting to come together clearly yet? Now that we have some firm pricing out in the open for the vanguard EV, it somehow seems more real to me.



MAKE SOLAR WORK FOR YOU!





Next, use your Solar Report to get the best quote!

Tags: , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • Tim Cleland

    It’s definitely impressive if they can do it.

    What is the purported range of the LEAF?

    • Nick Chambers

      Tim,

      They’re saying 100 miles per charge. In the real world who knows, but probably something like 80-90 miles.

    • Nick Chambers

      Tim,

      They’re saying 100 miles per charge. In the real world who knows, but probably something like 80-90 miles.

  • Tim Cleland

    It’s definitely impressive if they can do it.

    What is the purported range of the LEAF?

  • Tim Cleland

    It’s definitely impressive if they can do it.

    What is the purported range of the LEAF?

    • Nick Chambers

      Tim,

      They’re saying 100 miles per charge. In the real world who knows, but probably something like 80-90 miles.

  • Dave

    Will the car actually be for sale, or will it only be available to lease? GM leased all of the EV1s before they recalled and crushed them…

  • Dave

    Will the car actually be for sale, or will it only be available to lease? GM leased all of the EV1s before they recalled and crushed them…

  • Dave

    Will the car actually be for sale, or will it only be available to lease? GM leased all of the EV1s before they recalled and crushed them…

  • Chris O

    All those EV concepts Nissan’s formerly EV sceptic rivals suddenly came up with…it all makes sense now… THE GAME HAS JUST BEEN CHANGED and Nissan’s competitors have to run to catch up. But like Carlos Ghosn said: it’s not about having a few concept cars it’s about production capacity. Unlike the rest Nissan has it and at this price point Nissan will own the EV market for a long time to come. The reward of innovation and vision…

  • Chris O

    All those EV concepts Nissan’s formerly EV sceptic rivals suddenly came up with…it all makes sense now… THE GAME HAS JUST BEEN CHANGED and Nissan’s competitors have to run to catch up. But like Carlos Ghosn said: it’s not about having a few concept cars it’s about production capacity. Unlike the rest Nissan has it and at this price point Nissan will own the EV market for a long time to come. The reward of innovation and vision…

  • Chris O

    All those EV concepts Nissan’s formerly EV sceptic rivals suddenly came up with…it all makes sense now… THE GAME HAS JUST BEEN CHANGED and Nissan’s competitors have to run to catch up. But like Carlos Ghosn said: it’s not about having a few concept cars it’s about production capacity. Unlike the rest Nissan has it and at this price point Nissan will own the EV market for a long time to come. The reward of innovation and vision…

  • Constantin

    Bravo Nissan ! Now GM is taking notice.After it crushed EV 1 back in 1998 now NISSAN is giving a leson to all stupid hybrid builders.

    100% ELECTRIC RULES !

  • Constantin

    Bravo Nissan ! Now GM is taking notice.After it crushed EV 1 back in 1998 now NISSAN is giving a leson to all stupid hybrid builders.

    100% ELECTRIC RULES !

  • Constantin

    Bravo Nissan ! Now GM is taking notice.After it crushed EV 1 back in 1998 now NISSAN is giving a leson to all stupid hybrid builders.

    100% ELECTRIC RULES !

  • JJ

    Originally Nissan suggested that the end user deal would be to buy the car but lease the battery deal. Is that still the case here, for $33K minus any gov rebates, will the buyer own the battery outright? What about replacing it in 2015 for the 200 mile range battery, we need an option to upgrade that.

    I am hoping that the car minus battery would be easy to build for $20K with no subsidies at all, and let all the subsidies go only to the battery pack. That way we are fully responsible for the car, but the battery cost reduction curve will be pushed ahead by those with deeper pockets (gov or utilities or Nissan) in return for speeding up the EV transition.

  • JJ

    Originally Nissan suggested that the end user deal would be to buy the car but lease the battery deal. Is that still the case here, for $33K minus any gov rebates, will the buyer own the battery outright? What about replacing it in 2015 for the 200 mile range battery, we need an option to upgrade that.

    I am hoping that the car minus battery would be easy to build for $20K with no subsidies at all, and let all the subsidies go only to the battery pack. That way we are fully responsible for the car, but the battery cost reduction curve will be pushed ahead by those with deeper pockets (gov or utilities or Nissan) in return for speeding up the EV transition.

  • JJ

    Originally Nissan suggested that the end user deal would be to buy the car but lease the battery deal. Is that still the case here, for $33K minus any gov rebates, will the buyer own the battery outright? What about replacing it in 2015 for the 200 mile range battery, we need an option to upgrade that.

    I am hoping that the car minus battery would be easy to build for $20K with no subsidies at all, and let all the subsidies go only to the battery pack. That way we are fully responsible for the car, but the battery cost reduction curve will be pushed ahead by those with deeper pockets (gov or utilities or Nissan) in return for speeding up the EV transition.

  • MikeO

    $2200 for a home charging station? 220V, So what? My air conditioner plug cost 1 hundred bucks and its 220v. Put the charger on the vehicle and plug it in anywhere with the right current requirements (no proprietry style plug) Also what is the deal about cost for a electric car ? 6 moving parts? They are all off the shelf except for the battery. Sometimes I wonder how we made it to the Moon when we still havent got this rolling yet!

  • MikeO

    $2200 for a home charging station? 220V, So what? My air conditioner plug cost 1 hundred bucks and its 220v. Put the charger on the vehicle and plug it in anywhere with the right current requirements (no proprietry style plug) Also what is the deal about cost for a electric car ? 6 moving parts? They are all off the shelf except for the battery. Sometimes I wonder how we made it to the Moon when we still havent got this rolling yet!

  • Bill

    Nick…a few realistic numbers: First of all, most people, even in CA or CO aren’t going to get the car for $20K. Even if you get the full federal tax CREDIT (it isn’t a refund!) which most people won’t (I’ll only get to use $1600 if I buy.), it would still be $23K in CA. You have to add the other costs…taxes, title, fees, and the upgraded model for those choosing that. So your base price with the extras is more like $36-37K, and if you get the big state REBATE of around $5K, you still have to actually pay over $30K, since you won’t get any of the fed tax credit until the next year or the end of the year if you buy in 2011.

    Also, for some of you posters, the battery pack is included in the purchase price with a 5-year warranty.

  • Bill

    Nick…a few realistic numbers: First of all, most people, even in CA or CO aren’t going to get the car for $20K. Even if you get the full federal tax CREDIT (it isn’t a refund!) which most people won’t (I’ll only get to use $1600 if I buy.), it would still be $23K in CA. You have to add the other costs…taxes, title, fees, and the upgraded model for those choosing that. So your base price with the extras is more like $36-37K, and if you get the big state REBATE of around $5K, you still have to actually pay over $30K, since you won’t get any of the fed tax credit until the next year or the end of the year if you buy in 2011.

    Also, for some of you posters, the battery pack is included in the purchase price with a 5-year warranty.

  • Bill

    Oh, one more thing…you left out one of the five states that will get first dibs, AZ! Also, plans are in place here and the other four states to have over a thousand charging stations before the car is released for sale in Dec., 2010.

    • Nick Chambers

      Bill,

      You’re actually way off base here. A tax credit will reduce your taxes by a dollar for dollar amount and, if you owe less taxes than the credit is worth, you’ll end up getting a higher refund for the difference… so you do see all of that money no matter what your tax liability is. I believe you’re thinking of a deduction. Also, if you lease the car from Nissan, since they are the actual owners, they can claim the tax credit themselves, which is why the $349 price is possible because Nissan is factoring the tax credit into that price… which they also should be able to do with the state tax credits. So if you want to see the savings right away just go with the lease. Also, many states are waiving the sales taxes on EVs. Even with all of that, the base price won’t get anywhere near 37K.

  • Bill

    Oh, one more thing…you left out one of the five states that will get first dibs, AZ! Also, plans are in place here and the other four states to have over a thousand charging stations before the car is released for sale in Dec., 2010.

    • Nick Chambers

      Bill,

      You’re actually way off base here. A tax credit will reduce your taxes by a dollar for dollar amount and, if you owe less taxes than the credit is worth, you’ll end up getting a higher refund for the difference… so you do see all of that money no matter what your tax liability is. I believe you’re thinking of a deduction. Also, if you lease the car from Nissan, since they are the actual owners, they can claim the tax credit themselves, which is why the $349 price is possible because Nissan is factoring the tax credit into that price… which they also should be able to do with the state tax credits. So if you want to see the savings right away just go with the lease. Also, many states are waiving the sales taxes on EVs. Even with all of that, the base price won’t get anywhere near 37K.

  • http://www.valuere.com Tom Hamilton

    I placed my $99 reservation today. I heard the GM EV The battery will still have about 40% of charge at “empty” to keep it from getting stressed. So perhaps a full recharge is less than the full KWH rating of the battery. I also read the Leaf uses 30% less electricity per mile thn the Volt.

    Anyone hear what the buyout price will be at lease-end? Nissan said it was up to the dealer & I to negotiate at time of purchase. If you return at lease end, perhaps the “disposition fee” is also variable.

  • http://www.valuere.com Tom Hamilton

    I placed my $99 reservation today. I heard the GM EV The battery will still have about 40% of charge at “empty” to keep it from getting stressed. So perhaps a full recharge is less than the full KWH rating of the battery. I also read the Leaf uses 30% less electricity per mile thn the Volt.

    Anyone hear what the buyout price will be at lease-end? Nissan said it was up to the dealer & I to negotiate at time of purchase. If you return at lease end, perhaps the “disposition fee” is also variable.

Back to Top ↑