Turns out, you won't have to be part of the Tesla crowd to afford to put a Leaf in the garage. The 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, which will first become available in a few markets late this year, will sell at around $25,000 for most customers, and even lower for those in some EV-friendly places.
The Leaf has a starting MSRP of just $32,780 for purchase, but this figure doesn't account for the $7,500 federal tax credit that's anticipated, bringing the effective price for most buyers down to $25,280.
Additionally, Nissan points out, there are several state and local incentives that might further lower the price. Examples include a $5,000 tax rebate in California, $5,000 tax credit in Georgia, and $1,500 tax credit in Oregon, plus carpool-lane access in many places.
The Leaf will also be available for lease, at just $349 a month—including the federal incentive but not any the state or local ones.
At its introduction, the Leaf will be offered in an SV trim, including a navigation system (with a function to help find the nearest charging station), Internet and smartphone connectivity, pre-heating and pre-cooling capability, and smart charging control. Conventional convenience features include an intelligent key system plus Sirius and XM satellite radio capability. Electronic stability control and six airbags are included.
An uplevel SL trim priced $940 higher will add fog lights, automatic headlamps, a solar panel spoiler, and a rearview monitor.
The Leaf has a driving range of up to 100 miles on its lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the floor, and the Leaf can reach 90 mph.
Nissan says that a full charge of the battery pack will cost around three dollars.
Free home-charger systems will be provided for up to 4,700 customers through an infrastructure project (partially federally funded) with ECOtality. However Nissan is also making available a special 220-volt charging dock that can be arranged and installed by AeroVironment, for an average cost of about $2,200 (a 50-percent federal tax credit up to $2,000 applies).
The company will start taking official reservations for the vehicle April 20, with those who have already signed up on NissanUSA.com getting first priority. A $99 reservation fee will guarantee a place on the waiting list for when firm orders are taken, beginning in August.