Electric vehicles are panned for being too little car for too much money. But while GM has shaved $1,000 from the Chevy Volt’s MSRP, Nissan has added over $2,400 to the price of its all-electric Leaf. The future ain’t cheap I suppose.
Here are the actual numbers; for 2012, the Nissan Leaf will have an MSRP of $35,200, a jump of $2,420 from the 2011’s MSRP of $32,780. Factor in the $820 destination charge, and the Leaf’s price is now $36,020, or about $4,000 less than the 2012 Chevy Volt (MSRP $39,995.) The lease payment has also been bumped up $30-per-month, to $379. Apply the $7,500 tax credit to the purchase price, and the Leaf comes down to about $28,520.
Why the prime bump? As we already reported, Nissan is making the “cold weather package” and fast charging port standard on all 2012 Leaf models. The cold weather package adds a battery heater, heated front and rear seats, as well as heated mirrors, steering wheel, and a new HVAC duct to the back seats. Also standard for 2012, as we earlier reported, is a fast charge port that could cut charging time in half. This was a $700 feature before, and so that explains part of the price jump…but do heated seats and steering wheels really justify almost another $2,000 tacked on to the MSRP?
If you ask me, than no, and double that because right now most of the country is in the middle of a heat wave. Hell, half of the country (and most of the warm places where the Leaf is sold) won’t ever even need heated seats or a battery warmer. I don’t like it, not one bit, especially when Nissan made such a mess of the 2011 rollout. Neither the fast charge port, nor the cold weather package, warrant a price jump like this. People want more range, damnit, and there aren’t enough fast chargers in the ground yet to warrant making it a standard feature.
To end on a more positive note, Nissan is opening Leaf pre-ordering to a whole new batch of customers across the United States. In addition to all the states currently on Nissan’s Leaf list, Connecticut, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts residents can begin pre-ordering on July 25th. Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will also be added as markets by the end of 2012. So at least there’s that.
Still, I’m not a big fan of these changes, but what about you? Are you willing to pay a few extra grand for a few more features that you may or may not need?