The 2022 Nissan Leaf rolls into the new model year with a significant price cut for the shorter-range version.

The base price of the 149-mile standard Leaf is down to $28,375 with the mandatory $975 destination charge—so $20,875 effectively if you can claim the full $7,500 EV tax credit. Other state or regional incentives might make the Leaf even more affordable.

As such, the Leaf is shaping up to be the most affordable new electric vehicle in the U.S. market for the 2022 model year—undercutting the Mini Cooper SE, which had been the low-price EV leader. 

With its $4,170 price cut versus Nissan's initial price on the Leaf last model year, the Leaf gets added standard equipment. Every trim level now gets CHAdeMO DC fast-charging and a 240-volt charging cable. In addition, eight features from the Technology Package for the SV Plus trim level, including ProPilot Assist and a 360-degree camera system, are now standard on that model.

2021 Nissan Leaf

2021 Nissan Leaf

The price cut is all but confirmed as a reaction to the Chevrolet Bolt EV and its $5,500 effective price cut made for 2022, which came with significant updates and a new Bolt EUV model slotting just above the standard Bolt EV in the lineup.

The standard Leaf continues with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a single electric motor rated at 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the base Leaf S trim level, it's also available in a higher-level SV grade, which start at $29,775.

Nissan also offers the Leaf Plus, with a 62-kwh battery pack, maximum 226-mile range (on the S Plus trim level), and a more powerful motor, rated at 214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Pricing starts at $33,375 for the lowest S Plus trim level, while SV Plus and SL Plus models start at $36,375 and $38,375.

And as our partner site CarsDirect has already found, the better deals don't just extend to those buying the Leaf. The 2022 Nissan Leaf S may at launch offer the lowest-priced electric car lease available nationally. It's listed at $89 for 24 months, with $1,449 due at signing

2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus

2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus

Nissan passed 500,000 cumulative sales for the Leaf last year—when nearing 10 years on the market. The current version of the Leaf represents the model's second generation, and was launched for the 2018 model year.

While the Leaf was an electric-car pioneer, it's at risk of being overtaken by other, more modern mass-market EVs—including Nissan's own Ariya crossover.

Nissan executives have confirmed that the Leaf will stick around after the Ariya's introduction—but it's not yet clear for how long, or how the Leaf will be redesigned and repositioned.

The Leaf is the only EV on the market to offer the CHAdeMO fast-charging interface—which sets it up for easier deployment of bi-directional charging tech, but could leave owners stuck as the industry shifts to the Combined Charging Standard (CCS).