Nissan Leaf to Cost No More Than Fully Loaded Civic Plus the Cost of Gas

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nissan leaf ev 007

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Why are electric cars more expensive than their gasoline counterparts?  The answer is quite simple, new technology and related equipment drives up the cost of the vehicle.  Well there's a lot more to the answer than that, but Nissan believes that EVs can cost the same as a comparable gasoline model and is using this guideline to price its upcoming Nissan Leaf.

According to Brian Carolin, Nissan's marketing executive for North America, the cost of the upcoming Leaf will be equivalent to the monthly cost of a fully loaded Honda Civic, plus the cost of its monthly fuel bill.  To simplify pricing Carolin broke it down as such, "That means the purchase price (about $28,000) or comparable monthly payment for a high-end Civic plus the cost of the gasoline it would need to cover 1,200 miles (at 30 MPG and $3/gallon, about $120."

Well maybe the words of Carolin are not easy to decipher.  It appears as though he is trying to say that a Nissan Leaf will run about $120 more per month in payments if the vehicle is financed.

For example, if a fully loaded Honda Civic can be leased for $319 per month.  Adding in a monthly fuel cost of $120 brings the total monthly out of pocket expense to $439.  Nissan will either sell or lease the Leaf and its battery at that same price.

To add even more complicated numbers into the mix, Nissan plans to sell the car minus the battery and then lease the battery for around $120 per month.  Additionally, Carolin added," We may sell the car and battery together, we may lease it as a package, or we may sell the car and lease the battery. We just haven't decided yet."

Maybe the words from Carolin are downright vague for a reason.  Nissan wont' officially announce pricing for the Leaf until early next spring.  Until then, we only have the words of Carolin and the companies assertion that the Leaf's total monthly costs will be no more than a comparably equipped, gasoline powered vehicle's total monthly costs.


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Comments (17)
  1. The question that I still want answered is whether if I buy a Nissan Leaf next year but lease the battery, will the car work on better batteries that are certain to come soon, which I would then buy.

  2. So you won't safe any money buying a Leaf. Fair enough since although theoretically the Leaf having far fewer parts should be a lot cheaper than a comparable ICE vehicle (especially without the battery pack) , this is relatively new technology and mass production is still in it's infancy. However there is a trust issue with regard of this lease only scheme for the battery pack. It seems pretty obvious that once carmakers could pull off this scam of suggesting that battery cost is the same thing as fuel cost and should therefore be something you make regular payments for, this will be a businessmodel that is here to stay. Let’s face it: a position of being able to force people to make monthly payments for a crucial part of their vehicle which real monetary value will no doubt remain obfuscated is just too good to give up. This will guarantee that EV’s will never fulfil their promise of cheep and independent motoring, even if battery prices go down once new technology and mass production kicks in. Nissan: proof you don't want to take over the position of the oil companies and please offer a buy option for the battery pack.

  3. I think that the Leaf is going to lead our nation as we all move to electric cars. The technology is NOT new and has been around for many years. Most electric companies in the US offer rates of about $.06/kwh to charge it which means you will get about 100mpg equivalent with gas priced at $3/gal.
    All we need to do now is get all employers and shopping centers to install overhead solar panels in their parking lots and you can recharge your car while at work or shopping in most parts of the country. Maybe Obama will do something right for a change and offer incentivew for this.

    The last time someone offered a lease on an electric car, it didn't work out so well.
    : (

  5. This scheme just underscores what is really inhibiting EV introduction. EV's by there very nature are inexpensive to operate and just as important, by ICE standards, virtally maintenece-free. This is a combination that the oil-auto cartel has simply never tolerated. If you look back, GM did a similar thing with the EV1, artifically inflated its lease rate to increase its cost of operation.Nissan seeks to make the leaf as costly as an ICE to operate on an on-going basis. That there is no technological or economic rationale for the $120 fee is beside the point. All nissan has to do is offer the same warranty support for a battery as they do for its current fleet of dirty ICE. Why dont auto co's 'lease' ICE engines? If anything, there more costly(over time) and far more complex than a battery and a traction motor.

  6. I'm disappointed the battery will be leased for many of the same reasons already mentioned. My question is: how long will the battery lease last?
    I keep cars a long time - I've had my 1992 Acura Integra for 18 years.
    Will Nissan force me to lease a battery for 18 years if I keep my Leaf for that long? That's not an attractive prospect. (Of course, car makers aren't especially interested in people who hold on to their car for 20 years).
    Also, will I have the option to stop leasing a battery and buy it in say, five years, if Nissan moves to selling batteries at that point?
    And, if battery technology takes off, will I have the option to swap out my old battery for a newer, better battery?

  7. Car makers are indeed tied to the "runoff profits" that ICE provide. However, there's more than one way to turn a profit.
    Like I said on the other Nissan story, I think electric cars will follow the model of cell phones, laptop computers and game consoles, with customers drawn to upgrades every few years (especially since this technology is in its infancy, I would expect to see new models drawing buyers with their greater drive times, battery life, more efficient drive trains, etc.)

  8. Okay is the time to call your local solar panel installer and get those photovoltaics on your roof!
    I just did, and will be 95% self-sufficient for just $8,500 installed (that is after the Federal and State tax Credits (NOT deductions but dollar for dollar credits), and the local utility incentive.
    Now, if you finance that $8500 with a home equity line of credit (we bought our's with cash though) that would be around $50 per month over 30 years.
    The average guaranteed life span of a photovoltaic system is 25 that lines up fairly well.
    We ALL need to take personal responsibility for this and get this done folks.
    And, don't wait for "get all employers and shopping centers to install overhead solar panels in their parking lots and you can recharge your car while at work or shopping in most parts of the country."
    By the way...Obama has already done a lot on this end. Can you say 30% Federal Tax CREDIT?!

  9. It not just about saving money, it's centralizing power production, one big point source of pollution is "easier" to control or mitigate than millions of vehicles. There's no payback to any of this, the real payback is not altering the planet for your convenience.
    On the lease point, I buy all my vehicles outright by saving up money for the purchase. Why lease a battery when I could buy one???

  10. I think that the auto companies really don't want to sell you an electric car. By forcing you to lease the battery, the auto company can render the car useless in the future by refusing to sell the battery or extend the battery lease.

  11. Unless someone made an after-market battery and took the lessor out of the loop. Business opportunity anyone?

  12. not for a working man or woman. this is just an expensive toy for my kids. gas car can take you anywhere without limits comfortably and not as expensive as this. i do not mind giving up my comfort as long as i am getting something in return.

  13. Not everyone in the world is a believer in Al Gore's global warming hoax. So a zero emission car means nothing to most people. What does matter to most people is cost and the Leaf offers nothing in the way of reduced cost. So what's the point?

  14. It really needs to bring down the cost like existing regular family cars for becoming the mainstream. Even the today's economic condition, the price tag should stay at $15k as Nissan mentioned before.
    After Leaf, probably the solar powered vehicle will last forever.

  15. Nissan, take note. We the consumer want to be in control. If you sell us a car and lease us a battery, we are going to BUY a battery from a third party and DUMP your leased one on the dealership lawn in droves. If you require a specific LENGTH of lease, we will simply not purchase your vehicle. We will continue to CONVERT existing cars, sometimes to better effect that that which the Leaf proposes. Make leases an option, but sell us the car AND the battery outright if you want a true following. If you can keep ahead of the other battery developers, and possibly offer FREE INSTALLATION on our upgrades in the future, I think you will find many of us to be loyal (maybe extend the warranty of the whole car with a factory upgrade, etc.).

  16. Doesn't anyone remember the last time electric cars came out! Pricing shouldn't even be an issue. The fact that it took this long to get the cars out again -different company this time- and granted only on paper as no can actually buy/lease them as of yet- is amazing. Anything that rails against the greed that surrounds oil is fine. I just hope that Nissan is realistic about the Leaf and everything that surrounds it's media.

  17. I like the idea of a total electric car but if it does not reduce out of pocket expenses then what is the point, i drive about 50 miles a day and my gasoline bill is going up up up , anyone know how to convert a gasoline engine car to be more efficient, i'm just a girl,

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