Published on September 20th, 2012 | by Christopher DeMorro11
Are Nissan Leaf Owners Abandoning The EV Already?
With news that harsh hot climates like those found in Arizona may prematurely reduce the battery range of the Nissan Leaf, some owners may be taking drastic measures. As in, selling their first-generation EVs before they lose too much value. Ruh roh.
A cursory glance of Autotrader shows several hundred Nissan Leaf EVs for sale, though how many of these are new versus used is hard to say, as many dealers list new cars as used as well. But if you look at the used prices on some low-mileage vehicles, you can already see that the Leaf is losing value…fast.
In fact, you can pick up a low-mileage Nissan Leaf for less than $25,000, a huge drop from the MSRP of $35,200. Even when you factor in the $7,500 tax credit, that is quite the drop, and some owners in “extreme” weather climates are selling their cars ahead of what may be a coming plummet in value.
IF it turns out that Nissan’s air-cooled battery is losing as much battery life as recent independent tests seem to show, that would be a huge blow to used car values. Plug-in cars contacted several Leaf owners, and anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these buyers are keenly aware of the potential battery problems, though not all of them seem overly concerned.
I hope Nissan comes up with a better response than “This isn’t happening,” otherwise they may leave an extremely sour aftertaste in the mouths of early EV-adopters. This could influence future buying decisions towards more traditional hybrids, and further stoke the idea that EVs just aren’t ready for primetime.