The Nissan Leaf may be dear to our hearts at Automobile Magazine, but for future owners of the all-electric car, it’s about to get dearer as well: Nissan has announced expanded sales plans, and they involve a not-insignificant price hike of over $2000 to a starting price of $36,050, including the $820 destination charge, before any tax credits.
Nissan announced this morning that it will greatly expand the market for its increasingly popular car by starting the ordering process in much of the southeastern U.S., including Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. At the start, ordering will only be available for customers who have already placed reservations with Nissan. In these markets, the first available Leaf models will be the new 2012 model -- a car that has more standard features and a higher price tag.
The new standard features are what Nissan calls the “most popular options” -- they include a cold weather package, which adds a heated steering wheel, front and rear heated seats, and a battery warmer. Now standard on the upper-model Leaf SL is a new “quick charge” option, which would allow Leaf drivers to use new “Phase III” 480V outlets. Using the Phase III outlets would allow Leaf drivers to charge their cars from zero to 80 percent charged in less than 30 minutes. The only problem? These stations are few and far between -- the national ChargePoint Network doesn’t have any, and deployment of Phase III stations has been slow nationwide. Consider this feature a “future proof” one, then.
Either way, the 2012 Leaf will be released with a healthy $2420 bump to its base SV-model, which now costs $36,050. They also upped the price on the up-model SL, which now costs $38,100, an increase of $3530.
The federal EV tax credit should take $7500 off the purchase price, and the Leaf still comes in less expensive than the $39,995 Chevrolet Volt, but keep in mind that leases on the Leaf start at $369 a month. The 2012 Nissan Leaf will be available for order starting July 25.