Chevy Bolt EV, 107-Mile Nissan Leaf Face Off At LA Drive Electric Week (UPDATE On Leaf Pricing)

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We're now in the middle of National Drive Electric Week, the largest ever, with events planned for almost 200 cities.

But yesterday Los Angeles managed to pull off a double-header: Its event brought together the first production versions of the new 107-mile 2016 Nissan Leaf and a running prototype of the upcoming 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

To the best of our knowledge, it's the first time the two have ever been in the same place at the same time. And we've got the photos.

DON'T MISS: Drive Electric Week Larger Than Ever: 165 Cities, 3 Countries, Starting Sep 12

Each car provides greater range than before, and together they point to a future of affordable and much longer-range electric cars.

Many of the attendees were aware of the upcoming longer-range vehicles, and the event logged more than 800 test drives despite the day's scorching heat.

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Zan Scott]

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Zan Scott]

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Speakers included Calif state Senator Kevin de León, electric-car advocate and racing driver Leilani Munter, film director Chris Paine (of Who Killed The Electric Car? and Revenge of The Electric Car), numerous elected officials, representatives from GM and Nissan, Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, and Plug-In America executive director Joel Levin.

"Electric cars are changing the world; every time one of these vehicles gets sold, our air gets a little cleaner," said Levin.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Leaf Offers 107-Mile Range With 30-kWh Battery; Leaf S Unchanged

"We will take a big bite out of climate change," he continued. "Our economy will not be subject to wild swings in gas prices."

"And we will not be involved in foreign wars over oil."

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Jeff U'ren]

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Jeff U'ren]

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The City of Los Angeles gave official proclamations to Paine, for his two movies, and to the three groups that organize National Drive Electric Week: the Electric Automobile Association, Plug-In America, and the Sierra Club.

But it was the cars that were the lure, especially the two newest vehicles.

The 2016 Nissan Leaf, announced last Thursday and arriving at dealerships sometime next month, offers 107 miles of range from a new 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack in the SV and SL trim levels.

MORE: GM Shows Chevy Bolt EV Electric-Car Prototypes Testing: Video

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Our readers Keith Kemp and Tyrel Haverman point out that we described the pricing of the 2016 Leaf versus the prior year's model incorrectly. The sentences below reflect their corrections, for which we thank them.]

The longer-range Leaf SV model actually costs slightly less than its comparable 84-mile version last year, because Nissan has made DC quick-charging standard.

A 2016 Leaf SV is $380 cheaper than a comparable 2015 model. A high-end 2016 Leaf SL costs $1,670 $1,000 more than the previous year's model; both have DC quick-charging fitted as standard equipment.

While the prices of those vehicles are $1,600 to $2,000 higher than their comparable 84-mile versions last year ...

The 20-percent range increase makes the 2016 Leaf the longest-range affordable electric car.

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Zan Scott]

2016 Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Zan Scott]

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The Chevrolet Bolt EV was announced at the Detroit Auto Show last January, with General Motors CEO Mary Barra saying it would have a range of 200 miles and a base price of $37,500 before incentives.

That is expected to reset the bar for electric car range, and put significant pressure on Nissan for its second-generation Leaf, anticipated as a 2017 or 2018 model.

MORE: GM Officially Confirms It Will Build Chevy Bolt Electric Car With 200-Mile Range

We'll cover the totality of National Drive Electric Week once it's over and the organizers have tallied up its effects.

A 107-mile Leaf now, or a 200-mile Bolt EV sometime in the future?

From what we hear, attendees at the Los Angeles event were tantalized by the question--with Nissan and Chevy both curious to see how buyers make their choices.

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