2013 Nissan Leaf Prices To Start At $28,800 For Electric Car

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We know the specifications and details of the 2013 Nissan Leaf, which has now gone into production in Smyrna, Tennessee.

But the missing piece of information has always been: What will the battery electric car cost now that it's built in North America?

During an electric vehicle roundtable today at the Detroit Auto Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn provided the answers.

The new base-level 2013 Nissan Leaf S will start at $28,800. That makes it, as Nissan says, the least expensive five-seat battery electric vehicle sold in the U.S.

The mid-level Leaf SV now carries a price starting at $31,820, and the high-end Leaf SL starts at $34,840.

All prices will also have a mandatory $850 destination fee added.

The 2013 Nissan Leaf qualifies for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit, as well as a variety of other state, local, and corporate incentives. In California, the Leaf qualifies for a $2,500 purchase rebate, as well as single-occupancy access to carpool lanes.

Nissan will continue to offer incentivized lease deals on the 2013 Leaf as well, starting with a three-year lease at $199 a month. That sum includes destination charges and is reduced by all applicable incentives, including the Federal tax credit.

Last year's 2012 Leaf prices were $35,200 for the SV and $37,250 for the SL, although there are some equipment differences between the 2012 and new 2013 models.

2013 Nissan Leaf

2013 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo

Not only is the 2013 Leaf built in Tennessee, but the lithium-ion cells for its battery pack are fabricated in an adjacent plant.

The electric motors for U.S.-built Leafs are made in a different Tennessee parts plant.

The reductions represent roughly a 10-percent price cut in Leaf prices, but it's unclear whether they will be sufficient to boost sales of Leaf--which have been considerably lower than expected.

What do you think? Does the new 2013 Nissan Leaf pricing make enough of a difference to turn around the car's sales?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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Comments (46)
  1. Phenomenal number! Not sure what they took out of the car to make it 10% cheaper but as long as the mileage increased it make it worth it. I might sell my Prius to get into one of these. Not to only convince my apartment management company to install EV chargers.

  2. It's under $30K which I think allot of people are looking for. Did they say anything about the range? I came close to buying a used one up here in Canada but the boss (my wife) was spooked about how the severe cold can affect the batteries up here in Alberta. We'd like a longer range to compensate for that. Also, our Alberta government offers NO financial incentives to buy an EV, but that it a different story. Good news on the price reduction! We'd also like to see Nissan offer a range extender like the Volt, but with 5 passengers. A four passenger EV is a non-starter for us.

  3. The Leaf is 5 passenger, 5 seat-belts.

  4. yeah, I know, i've been in the Leaf, I was referring to the fact that the Volt was a four passenger vehicle.

  5. I think this will allow Nissan to advertise $21,300 MSRP (after $7,500 federal tax rebate). If nothing else, this should keep affordable leases going for the foreseeable future.

  6. So those in California can get it for $18880? That's stupidly low, in a very impressive way!

    In Ireland, $18880 would just be over €14000, that's cheaper than the eagerly waited Renault Zoe, even cheap on a car's standard! Let alone, The full price of 28,880 would be similar to the Renault Fluence of €20000 (after €5000 subsidies), of which you're then required to pay a monthly battery rent!

    I'm jealous!

    Maybe in Europe, the excuse that Electric Vehicles are too expensive still remains, but if you're in the US or even Norway, that's no excuse! I'm also impressed! Maybe the price of the LEAFs will lower in Europe when they start building in Sunderland.

    I'd like to say, Well done Nissan! I think this would help sales, so bring it here!

  7. Europe is a socialist state where 45% of people work for government one way or the other, and produce almost nothing, or are grossly overpaid.

    Let's assume these government employees (and those on gov contracts) productivity per dollar paid is 1/3 of the average private sector. Then 30% of Europeans produce nothing.

    Therefore price of goods will always be X/(1 - 0.3) = 1.43 * X where X is the price where everyone is productive.

    Therefore prices in Europe will always be 43% higher than a fully productive society, and at least 30% higher than the US. So it will never happen.

  8. Hi Brom,
    Unless you can support the supposition (with a reference) from which you derive your conclusion, it's a case of garbage-in-garbage-out.

  9. @Brom: A note from your friendly site moderator. It's not clear to me what your comment has to do with the topic of the article, which is the newly released pricing for the 2013 Nissan Leaf Electric car.

    Please keep your comments confined to the topic that's being written about--or risk having them removed. Thank you.

  10. $19650, since it says there's a $850 delivery charge.

  11. Price wise, Nissan has a long way to go; battery wise they, just like the other EV makers, have an even longer way.

    Until Nissan's batteries are less-costly, lighter and can propel the car an honest 100 miles at freeway speeds, it will continue to be limited to a role as a commuter and/or city car,

    My suggestion is to lease the car until the Nissan battery technology catches up with U.S. driver's needs. This is the third year for the car and they have not improved the battery one iota...it's still the same with the same problems,i.e., an expected reduction in range of about 30% over 5 years.

  12. @Ladson: Where's your data showing a 30% range reduction over 5 years? i.e. How many of the current 50,000 LEAFs on the road to date have lost (or are on a trajectory to lose) >70% capacity?

    Just because Nissan updated it's warranty to guarantee a minimum 70% capacity after 5 years doesn't mean it's the 'normal' capacity expectation! OEMs target warranties such that they need to only support fewest 'exceptions' that fall at the ends of a statistical bell curve. It's highly likely that the median capacity lays above 80% for 5-year mark.

    note: There are many Leaf's with 30,000+ miles and no capacity-bar loss after two-years. As vehicles age, statical bells curves flatten & widen due to variation in vehicle use.

  13. FYI: Green Car Reports just posted an article on Survey of actual LEAF battery capacity & mileage:

  14. Evidence for -30% battery loss in 5 years? It is sufficient for one battery cell to go bad to get huge reduction in range. But this is easy to fix.

    What if there is a fast charger in 10% of the gas stations. Would you still need more than 75 miles range (except for long-distance travelling)?

  15. Wow!

    $18,800 for a full range Leaf in California?

    I believe the Leaf is quite demand elastic and this drop in price will result in serious uptake.

    I think sales in 2013 will be double that of 2012 -- in the minimum. If not, then EVs have been a failure.

  16. I think it's rediculous what Nissan is attempting to do with the Leaf in artifically "extending" its model year. When the Leaf and Volt appeared in December of 2010 they were both 2011 models, as would be expected. The traditional beginning of the "new" automotive model year is in the fall of the previous calander year. GM began selling 2012 and 2013 Volts in the fall of 2011,2012 respectively.Each came with new features and new lower base pricing.So what Nissan has now been selling 2012 models for 18 months and just "announced" pricing 2013 models in Jan 2013? How does that make any sense?? .LB

  17. Actually it makes more sense that the 2013 model year becomes available in January.

  18. I think you missed my point. It really doesnt matter what YOU think makes sense, model years work as I described. What I cant figure out is how Nissan announced 2012 pricing and availability on July of 2011 anf began producing them that Sept http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1063372_2012-nissan-leaf-more-standard-equipment-higher-price
    So now they have been selling 2012 model cars for over 15 months? This not only artificially inflates their sales by model year, but I'd be pissed if I recently bought a Leaf and it was a 2012 model.Especially if I did not receive some sort of "past model allowance" All other OEs have been selling 2013 models since the fall!!

  19. @Wop Ontour: Automakers don't report dales by model year. They report sales by calendar year (except for Tesla, which doesn't report sales monthly as all real carmakers do).

    Model years vary enormously, as you've noted. They respond to regulation (some emissions rules apply to cars of certain model years), production exigencies, and other factors.

    I'm still not clear, though, on why this seems to bother you so greatly.

  20. "except for Tesla, which doesn't report sales monthly as all real carmakers do" ...um...John? Surely this is just an unfortunate choice of words, right? Right? Surely you don't mean to say...nah.

  21. It makes sense when it is understood that Nissan was waiting to manufacture and price a vehicle where production was moved from Japan to the U.S.

  22. 2010/2011 LEAF announced in Dec 2010 for both Japan & US markets.

    2013 LEAF was announced & went on sale in Japan on Nov 20, 2012. Today's NAIAS announcement is for North American 2013 LEAF. This is the first LEAF model to be manufactured in North America (motor, battery, electronics & body). Note: production of 2013 NA LEAF just started in last couple of weeks with first deliveries to dealers stated to start in late February.

  23. There was no such thing as a 2010 Leaf!

  24. Oops, a typo. Meant 2011/2012 & 2013+

  25. I got my 1999 Miata around tax time 1998.

  26. A $199/month lease, and the tax credit, too? Very hard to believe. In my Volt lease, the bank gets the tax incentive, not me. I'm wondering how Nissan works this out so the owner gets the incentive.

    If they have managed it, the result is essentially a free car .

    Do the math: $199 x 36 months = $7164. Subtract the $7500 tax credit, and you're making a $336 profit to take the thing off their hands for three years.

    The article doesn't mention a down payment, but we have to assume there is one. If it's $2,000--fairly typical for this level of lease--you're only paying $1564 out of pocket. Still an incredible deal. And in California, it's still a $1,000 profit.

    And don't forget gas savings of $100-plus per month.

    A total no-brainer.

  27. The $199 lease is after the tax credit. The leasing company receives the credit.

  28. Do they get the California credit also?

  29. I believe so, but check MNL forum.

  30. The California program provides a cash rebate after the sale or lease directly to the consumer (www.energycenter.org/cvrp)

  31. Yes, and the lease must be for 36+ months. If the lease is returned before 3 years, the rebate must be returned (generally on a pro-rated basis).

  32. @David: I may have written this unclearly. Mr. Nader below is correct; the leasing company receives the Federal tax credit, not the lessor. That's one reason the lease can be so low.

    The $2,500 California purchase rebate is sent directly to the "buyer" or consumer, not the leasing company.

  33. Only if the lease is greater than 3 years.

    2 year lease does NOT qualify for the $2,500 CARB rebates.

  34. It is 18% lower on base model which is exactly what was needed.
    Nissan should start to sell a bunch, in fact all that they can make. This is a bargin that we have all been waiting for. $199/month lease sounds fantastic.
    The Leaf is now at the top of my next car list.

  35. Must agree - except I have one.

  36. Wow! Kudos to Nissan! they blew it out of the park! Just imagine and electric car for under $23,000! move over Fiat, Mini and VW electric Leaf is here to stay!

  37. What is missing are quick chargers. Once a critical mass of quick chargers is achieved, the thing will blow out.

  38. Did you miss the announcement that Nissan will be installing Quick Chargers at many dealerships?

  39. Unfortunately, that is nowhere enough.

    You would need at least 200 stations in the Bay Area. There are not that many Nissan dealerships.

  40. While 200 may be needed with a full EV population, with just thousands of CHAdeMO capable vehicles, it's overkill.

    Personally, I would rather see more locations with 2+ CHAdeMO stations as reliability has not been a strong suit of the first generation of CHAdeMO stations which makes depending on them difficult to do.

  41. Don"t forget 2013 LEAFs have 6.6kWh chargers (vs 3.3kWh, except as option on basic S model). The faster charging translates into adding 24 miles range per hour of charge!

    Although not a quick charger, faster charging affectively doubles "daily range" to greater than 150 miles. (3.5 hours at Level 2 over night, plus 3.5 hours at stops during day). Even with extreme power use, a 100 miles per day is easily achievable. With a minor route/schedule coordination, 200+ miles of pure-EV driving a day is possible.

    18% lower price plus 2x faster charging is a game changer to EV adoption.

  42. The lower price will pit the Leaf against Prius C for city cars.
    Also, the $199/month lease is the key to keep Leaf's sales going.
    With 3 yr deal at $199/month and getting $2,500 in CA, that would be $7,164 - $2,500 = $4,664. That would equal to $130 per month. Almost pays for itself comparing to many ICE cars on gas money alone. Not to mention that you are virtually driving the car for FREE for the first year in California. You get $2,500 from CARB in about 4 weeks and You only pay $2,400 in leasing fee in the first year.
    If this deal doesn't push the Leaf Sales thru the roof, NOTHING will.

  43. As a leaf owner for 1 1/2 years, I can testify that this car is engineered very well. No problems, except for the diminishing battery range due to hot climate. What makes this problem worse is Nissan's lack of communication, and support, for its Leaf owners. This is not good and this poor public relations performance could well cost Nissan its customer base and word of mouth support for its Leaf automobile!!! It doesn't matter how low the price is, or how much advertising they do. Remember the words, "Ask the man who owns one", Nissan?

  44. I am considering purchasing a 2013 Volt, which is currently discounted $2k, plus I have an additional $1k rebate from the manufacturer, plus I have $3k rebate built up on my GM Card. Then there's the $7,500 fed tax credit. But now that Nissan has slashed its price 10%, should I wait for even better offers on the Volt?

  45. Have there been any test drives to confirm the longer range of the new 2013 model? What is the new extended range for the average user? Also how much more range does it get in winter with the new heater? That would be helpful to know.

  46. I saw a review on youtube of a couple, who just got a leaf.
    It looks like a very nice car.
    I think that with the increase in electric company costs, either putting more solar cells built into the roof of the leaf or helping someone set up a simple solar cell collecting system for their home would be nice, perhaps even portable and waterproof, like the cells you can get for camping.
    Right now an electric car owner most likely also has a home with a garage.
    So your market is really limited by that.
    In the video I saw that the leaf has a cell built into the roof.
    What if the entire roof was solar cells?
    Would that be enough to fully charge it in a day?
    More people would be able to buy the leaf.
    I would buy that car.
    Love the price too.

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