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The drop in prices are mainly due to the fact that Nissan has moved Leaf production from Japan to Tennessee

Nissan’s Leaf just experienced a dramatic price drop, making it the cheapest five-seater electric vehicle (EV) in the U.S. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the price of the base model 2013 Leaf has been cut by $6,400. Last year’s base model went for $35,200, and now, the 2013 Leaf S will sell for $28,800 to start before a $7,500 federal tax credit (and any applicable state credit/rebate) is applied.
A couple of other Leaf models have seen a price cut as well. The Leaf SV will drop from last year’s price of $35,200 to $31,820 this year. The Leaf SL is also going from $37,250 last year to $34,840 this year.
“With nearly 50,000 Leafs on the road globally, we are the leaders in zero emissions vehicles and our class-leading product just got better,” said Billy Hayes, Global vice president of Leaf sales for Nissan. “From the very outset, Nissan has continuously advanced and refined the affordable zero emissions vehicle ownership experience. Now customers won’t have to pay a premium for owning a green car that’s really fun to drive, and that’s exciting.”

2013 Nissan Leaf

The drop in prices is mainly due to the fact that Nissan has moved Leaf production from Japan to Tennessee. It also has its lithium-ion batteries and motors manufactured there. Nissan announced that it began Leaf production at a new plant in Smyrna, Tennessee last Thursday. It will build the Leaf and gasoline vehicles in this plant, while building batteries at a separate plant next door. The plant is the result of a 2010 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan for $1.4 billion. According to the DOE, Nissan can build up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 batteries annually at the Tennessee plants
Nissan’s Leaf had a rough time last year as far as sales and performance goes. In July 2012, Leaf owners in Arizona complained that their EVs were losing significant battery capacity in the desert’s high heat. Nissan responded by basically saying that this was normal and promised more open communication with owners of the Leaf EV.
Later, Nissan had to admit that it wasn’t going to hit its sales mark for 2012, which was 20,000 Leafs. Nissan only sold 9,819 Leafs for the whole year -- less than half of its goal, and only 1.5 percent higher than the number it sold in 2011.

Source: Nissan

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Should be a sensible purchase for many more people now
By Mint on 1/15/2013 6:12:39 AM , Rating: 3
Really shows how fast cost reductions can happen once the ball gets rolling. Well done by Nissan.

Few will find it suitable as a primary vehicle, but there should still be a lot of households who can average 1000 miles a month by using a Leaf for trips that stay inside its range, which would save $100/mo in gas even for a fuel efficient car. I think it's possible that lease+electricity payments will be <$200/mo.

You'll be hard pressed to beat that in a comparably performing gas vehicle, since even a fuel efficient car will need ~$100/mo in gas. I'm not even counting the low maintenance costs either.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 7:45:07 AM , Rating: 4 can find several new vehicles,for les than 15K without tax incentives. With at least 13k in savings is a lot of gas.

The Kia Rio is 13.6K and gets 30/40mpg. @4$ a gallon and using only the city mpg a you can drive this car for 108000 miles or 9 yrs @ 1000miles a month! before you hit 28K.

I realize proper maintenance will tak that number down a bit but the point is you wont be hard pressed to beat the leaf. It does not make financial sense to buy one of these. Top it off, I can take that kia Rio on a road trip if I needed to. I could easily make it a primary vehicle, or use it in lieu of my primary if it were to break down.

By retrospooty on 1/15/2013 7:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I totally disagree, but the Kia RIO is a really low end car. I have a neighbor with one a couple years old, not too nice. That and electric like this isnt really economical for people that only put 1000 miles a month on it. I beleive the average driver puts between 10 and 12k per year on a car. Electric makes sense of you drive alot more than that, like if you have a long daily commute or if you drive around from site to site all day for your job. I used to live 50 miles from work and put 2500 miles a month on my car until I moved closer. When you get into that range and over, it starts making alot more financial sense.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 8:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
fair enough about the kia. You do get what you pay for. They're so cheap i'm surprised they don't come in a box and require assembly. In all fairness they have upped their game. Cheap got them in the door, but they need quality to keep them around. Especially since they're not an American Company. Congress will say they don't qualify for "to big to fail"

If you look at the link there are other more reputable car makers on the list.

1000 a month is 12K a year. Drivers more recently average between 12-15k. This is because as speed limits have gone up that 30-40 minute commute ring around wherever you work has expanded.

Now if you lived farther away than the average commute, then electric really doesn't make any sense. That kia along with a couple other cars on that list get 40mpg hwy, so if you drive mainly highway then you can drive even farther before you hit that 28k price.

Even if you put your price ceiling at 20K, there are several cars that out gun the leaf and save you more money.

Electrics just aren't viable. They wont be until they can reach near parity with other cars of the same form factor.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 9:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
Now if you lived farther away than the average commute, then electric really doesn't make any sense.
Really? So the minority of people that can't get by on 70 miles/day make EVs useless for everyone else? Give me a break.

The Kia Rio does not get 40MPG:
Combined mileage is based on typical US driving patterns, so pretending that highway mileage is all that matters. Use the combined rating.

It's a secondary car. There are tens of millions of secondary cars in the US. It's not for everyone, but it's useful for plenty of people.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 10:07:35 AM , Rating: 3
JTMFC...Again. IF you lived farther away than the average commute then electric really doesn't make sense.

No where did I say it doesn't make sense for everybody. I did say that there are better deals that DO NOT rely on a federal tax credit. Even with the tax credit there are still better deals.

I pulled 40mpg hwy from the article I linked. I calculated based off the city rating the article stated 30mpg so no I didn't use the hwy figure at all. If I used the combined rating my numbers would have been higher.

You framed your post about using it as a secondary car. My reply was within that context.

Is it useable as a secondary car? Sure. Does it make financial sense compared to similar cars out there? Nope. I also don't think leasing is ever a good deal, or buying brand new either but if you are going to do it, the leaf is not the cheapest of options, nor the best options.

You can wish it all you want but EV's day in the sun hasn't arrived yet.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 10:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
I also don't think leasing is ever a good deal, or buying brand new either but if you are going to do it, the leaf is not the cheapest of options, nor the best options.
Leasing is cheaper than buying and reselling after the same term, because you don't pay the full sales tax and you also protect yourself from excessive depreciation. It's only a bad deal if they stick you with a high interest rates.

If you can't disprove my numbers that show an EV is cheaper over the first 3 years, then you have to show me something radical happens in the next 2 years for an EV to not be worth it after 5 years.

Your problem is that you think all cars are worth the same after five years. That's BS. A 100MPG car is worth a lot more than a 30MPG car. The most reliable Nissan (according to Consumer Reports) will be worth a lot more used than a low end Kia will, because the latter will have higher maintenance costs.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 11:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
What numbers? 200 a month for a leaf? How many years? How much down? Mileage restrictions? Show me a link and I'll find a better deal.

I don't think all cars are worth the same after 5 years. I don't know where you came up with that one.

As far as Nissans reliability rating goes, the leaf is an outlier. That rating applies to their ice vehicles. I know they have dropped there lease prices on the leaf because of the problems they have had with the batteries, and sales have been soft.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 12:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
Find a better deal than this:
That's previous (more expensive) Leaf, but also with CA's extra subsidy, so let's assume that the new one will have the same price.

$1800 down, $199/mo for 36 months, 12000 miles per year. Let's assume $40/mo for electricity. That's $239 per 1000 miles.

Show me a gas powered car that's a better deal, including gas costs.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ask and yee shall receive!

$99 a month

36mpg combined

That leaves you with $140 for gas.

As of yesterday the avg gas price in the US is 3.303

so $140 divided by 3.303 equals 42.3857 gallons.

Now using the 36 mpg combined rating that allows you to drive 1525.885 miles.

Since you put this at 1000 miles a month gas would only cost you 91.75 and leave you with an extra $48.25 a month.

Oh yeah, also only $999 due at signing unlike the $1800 down for the leaf.

So over the three year lease you save $2538 and you have no range limit!

By Mint on 1/15/2013 2:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
Are you kidding me? The best you can do is to show me a tiny two seater that takes 13 seconds to go from 0-60 as an alternative to the Leaf?

The Leaf:
-seats 3 more people
-has over twice the passenger volume
-has twice the trunk space
-gets to 60mph 5 seconds quicker

The Rio was already a bad comparison. This is beyond stupid.

Try again...

By Manch on 1/15/2013 2:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
Oh so now its about performance no longer the secondary car? Keep moving that goal post moron.

As far as the Rio goes, if you had bothered to look at the link you would have saw all of these:
Toyota Yaris
Chevy Sonic Sedan
Ford Feista Sedan
Kia Soul
Suzuki SX4
Hyundai Accent Sedan
Nissan Versa Sedan

There's even a Goddamn Nissan on there for you that is cheaper to buy than a leaf.

All of those cars:
-seat just as many people
-have unlimited range
-can drive for almost 5 yrs from what they save vs a leaf.
-have comparable acceleration.

No matter how you slice it, the leaf is just does not make economical sense. You can even up spend a little bit and buy a nicer car, and you would still save money compared to a leaf.

If you're hell bent on leasing, fine. There are others that cost the same as your precious leaf. I showed you the cheapest.

You are a fucking Moron.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 4:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh so now its about performance no longer the secondary car?
Performance is the least of your problems in your ridiculous suggestion of a Smart Fortwo as a Leaf substitute, but it's still a problem. 9 seconds to 60 is not a race car. It is practical, allows safe passing on the highway, and won't anger the guy behind you. 13 seconds is a major headache for everyday drivability.
As far as the Rio goes, if you had bothered to look at the link you would have saw all of these:

Not a single car on that list can be leased and fueled for less than $240/mo. If you think so, then prove me wrong.

You will fail.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 5:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not a single car on that list can be leased and fueled for less than $240/mo. If you think so, then prove me wrong.

Here you go ya damn moron.

If you get the manual or the auto it will cost you $129 a month and 110.10 for gas (30mpg combined)for a total of 239.10

So again I prove you wrong.

Still cheaper and with unlimited range!

By Mint on 1/15/2013 5:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Your link is broken. All I see is all of Nissan's models with their MSRP.

Tell me the details, and make sure it's at least somewhat equally equipped:
Power windows, power door locks, remote key, CD/MP3 at the very least, since the majority of cars sold today have these features. (FYI, the base Leaf S also has automatic temperature control, bluetooth handsfree, proximity key, trip computer...)

Don't give me some econobox with zero features like you did with the Rio.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 5:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
go to the site, click on versa 1.6s and check out the lease. Its $129. Go to the epas fuel economy site and check out the mileage.

Make the argument that it doesn't have this it doesn't have that. I don't care. I'll trade power locks for unlimited driving range any day. That's two cars that are cheaper and one of those cars is from that list.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 7:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
94.5% of all new cars have power windows standard:
Don't compare the Leaf to econoboxes lacking features or seats that everyone wants.

Why are you in this thread if you don't care about the economics or the gas saved because of the range? All along you've been talking nonsense, relying on range as a crutch to disparage the Leaf now that you lost the economics argument.

If you can live with the range, then the Leaf is cheaper to lease and operate for the first three years than any other comparable car.

That is my claim, and you failed miserably to disprove it.

By Manch on 1/16/2013 3:25:05 AM , Rating: 2
So now its about powered windows! good lord...YOu said I couldn't find ANY cars. I showed you TWO cars that are cheaper to lease vs the price to lease a leaf in California. Everywhere else its $220 not $199. With that wiggle room I can find a few other cars that are just as economical and probably with power windows.

I also showed you cars that are MORE ECONOMICAL to buy and operate vs purchasing a leaf.

So yeah I did disprove what you said. I proved you do not have to live within the range of a leaf and still find a car that is MORE ECONOMICAL to lease and operate than a leaf.

You're just pissed because I proved you wrong.

By Mint on 1/16/2013 9:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
Go scroll up and READ you illiterate. I said, "You'll be hard pressed to beat that in a comparably performing gas vehicle". I didn't say find ANY box on four wheels. There is nothing comparable about a Smart Fortwo or a base Versa. That you resorted to such barebones cars proves me precisely right, as you are so hard pressed to find a gas competitor that you have to resort to finding cars lacking features that virtually every new car buyer demands.

The $220/mo leases are for the 2012 Leaf, which had a starting MSRP of $35200. This one starts at $28,800. Post-tax rebate, that's a 23% price cut. 23% off of $220 is $169, so my $200/mo estimate is very conservative for this new model. So no, you don't get any wiggle room.

You didn't prove jack.

A base Rio is more economical than a well equipped Corolla. A Smart ForTwo is more economical than a Rio. A motorbike is more economical than a ForTwo. A moped is more economical than a motorbike. What did I prove in this paragraph? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Compare apples to apples, or GTFO. IF you don't need more than 70 miles of daily range, then you compare your options by all other features and price.

You pointed out one option for the <6% of buyers that don't want power windows/locks. You pointed out another option for the <1% that only want two seats. You still haven't given an option for 93% of new car buyers.

That's not pickiness. That's calling you out on your lame suggestions.

By JediJeb on 1/15/2013 3:51:36 PM , Rating: 3
The Leaf:
-seats 3 more people
-has over twice the passenger volume
-has twice the trunk space
-gets to 60mph 5 seconds quicker

I have to call it on this one also because there is one stat left out versus even that Smart.

-drive >100miles, you are walking home.

By nshoe on 1/15/2013 4:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
And for the vast majority of commuters none of those matter.

-seats 3 more people
The average commuter vehicle carries 1.1 people, so unless you are carpooling it won't matter.
-has over twice the passenger volume
Only because it has to accommodate a second row of people. I'm a large 6'1" and fit comfortably in a Smart.
-twice the trunk space
I can fit a good weeks worth of groceries in the trunk, and If I need more space I can always use my other vehicle (The smart would be lousy as a only vehicle, but in most cases so would a Leaf)
-gets to 60mph 5 sec quicker.
Like in rush hour traffic this is an issue? I've never had a problem getting up to speed to merge with freeway traffic. Perhaps with the slow acceleration I get home 1-2 min slower - but then again for my commute I'll get there $40-$60/month richer.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 4:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
If none of that mattered, then Smart would have much higher sales than 7000 in 2012, and there would be many other car makers with cheap two-seaters.

Those are serious drawbacks. Very few people wants them in a car.

By nshoe on 1/15/2013 4:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
And the Leaf had so much better sales at 9800, despite having a huge marketing push.

They are both niche market vehicles. And for many people the Smart would be a cheaper alternative. Many people may not want to deal with the drawbacks of the Smart, but it is rather obvious that many people don't want to deal with the drawbacks of the Leaf as well.

(Also, you did miss one other cost for the Leaf, bought or leased - you still need to buy and have a home charger installed - that car run $700-$1400 depending on how muck electrical work needs to be done to get a 240volt 30amp circuit to where you park your car.)

By Mint on 1/15/2013 5:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
Marketing can't make up for price. The car is now $6000 cheaper. That's what this article is about, if you didn't notice.

Monthly Leaf sales more than tripled at the end of the year when they started offering lower prices, and now it's even lower.

$6000 is a lot of money. It's the difference between a 12 year payback and a 6 year payback.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 5:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
Very few people want only a 73mile range too.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 5:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, this whole article and discussion is only relevant for people that can live with that range in their second car. If not, you don't care about the price drop. You don't care about how much gas the car cars.

So if that's all you got, then leave the discussion, because you are irrelevant to it and the article is irrelevant to you.

By JediJeb on 1/15/2013 3:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
To me viable EVs will come when you can get at least 200 mile range and prices less than $25k without the subsidy.

One cost no body is listing here is insurance, how much is full coverage insurance for an EV?

As for maintenance, not much more for a fuel efficient ICE car since you really only need to change the oil twice a year or less if driving 12K miles per year($50 annually if you DIY or $150 if you have it done at a Jiffylube) and tires will be the same for both vehicles. Shouldn't need brakes for several years, but if the EV has regenerative braking the brakes will cost much more than those on a standard ICE vehicle.

By RufusM on 1/15/2013 8:36:44 AM , Rating: 3
The Leaf is a niche car right now and only appeals to a certain market that can afford it and accept the tradeoffs.

If electric started taking off, it seems to me that the electrical grid doesn't have a lot of excess capacity to absorb the added demand so the price of electricity would go up. It takes a long time to add more electrical capacity so a surge in demand of electricity would decrease the ROI of the Leaf compared to an ICE vehicle, all things being equal.

By othercents on 1/15/2013 8:51:28 AM , Rating: 2
If electric started taking off, it seems to me that the electrical grid doesn't have a lot of excess capacity to absorb the added demand so the price of electricity would go up.

I wonder what percent of Leaf owners have solar panels? This would offset the electric demand, however I would hate to be in a state that had nightly brownouts that kept me from charging the vehicle.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 9:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
EVs overwhelmingly recharge at night, where there is plenty of excess capacity. Wind blows more at night as well, and in some places night electricity is free:

In every market with smart meters, the electricity used to charge EVs will cost less than the average rate. EVs flatten out the daily demand curve, making electricity generation slightly more efficient and cheaper for everyone.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 10:31:35 AM , Rating: 2
With this Leaf pricing, it actually is worth it even with 1000 miles/mo.

A fair comparison either looks at lifetime costs or the difference between purchase price and resale value. We don't know the resale value, but manufacturers make an educated guess with leases, so that's the fairest comparison we have.

1000 miles/mo in a car getting 35 MPG combined (how many such cars are there?) will need $110/mo in gas. A Leaf will need <$40/mo in electricity (sometimes much less). So if you can lease a Leaf for $200/mo, a reliable gas car would have to be leased for only $130/mo to match the Leaf in running costs (depreciation + fuel).

Can you name any such car? Of course, those rates are assisted by the subsidy, but it really makes sense for a lot of people.

By Samus on 1/15/2013 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
The Kia Rio used to be $7000 base. I can't believe that bucket is over 13k now.

Comparing a Nissan to a Kia is like comparing Godzilla to a walnut. That's right. Think about it.

By PaFromFL on 1/15/2013 8:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
If you include the tax credit, the breakeven point is
(($28800-$7500-$13600)/$4)*30 mi/gal = 57750 miles.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 8:45:34 AM , Rating: 2
That's still almost 5 years of city driving.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 9:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
So what? A car lasts 15 years, not 5. It's an easy lifetime win. The Leaf will sell for more after whatever time you want to own it.

If you're too shortsighted to look at lifetime value, then look at lease rates, add in fuel costs, and compare.

Lease rates factor in a manufacturer's estimated residual value, which includes factors like future fuel savings for the next buyer, reliability, expected maintenance costs, etc.

By rdhood on 1/15/2013 9:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
A car lasts 15 years, not 5. It's an easy lifetime win.

A battery is not going to last 15 years. In fact, Nissan just increased the warranty on batteries to 5 years because they were starting to crap out at 3 years. A battery is estimated to cost $15,000 at this point. It's NOT an easy lifetime win. It's still a huge gamble if you normally keep a car for 10 or 15 years.

By Nutzo on 1/15/2013 10:50:15 AM , Rating: 3
This is going to be the real problem with electric cars.

The Prius Hybrid battery last over 10 years for most people due to the limited charge/discharge cycles (they don't fully charge or discharge the battery). A pure electric car has a much higher charge/discharge cycle, which puts more stress on the battery that limits it's life. A 5 year old Leaf (or any electric car) is likely to have a low resell value due to the battery being close worn out.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 10:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
and no warranty

By Mint on 1/15/2013 11:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
The Prius Hybrid battery last over 10 years for most people due to the limited charge/discharge cycles (they don't fully charge or discharge the battery).
That's incorrect. Hybrids charge/discharge throughout a driving cycle, i.e. many times per day. They also have small batteries, so getting a car up to speed or recovering energy does indeed charge/discharge quite a bit.

The majority of Leaf users charge once a day or less. Regenerative braking only adds ~1% to their SoC, not 20%.

A 5 year old Leaf (or any electric car) is likely to have a low resell value due to the battery being close worn out.
That's speculation. If so many lithium ion battery makers can achieve 3000-5000 cycles at or near full depth of discharge, why do you think Nissan will achieve so much less?

Car makers offer 3-5 years warranties. Do they fall apart after that time? Of course not. Nissan is not going to be able sell off-lease vehicles for the amount needed to recoup cost if batteries kept dying shortly afterwards. They have a reputation to maintain.

By kmmatney on 1/15/2013 3:24:07 PM , Rating: 3
Your info is not correct - at least with the 2 Priuses I have driven (2002 and 2007 models). By default, those models will not let the battery drain to less than 15% capacity, and will not charge the battery above 85%. This extends the life of the battery. I don't know if they changed that, but that's what they did with those models. An electric car will need to use much more of it's battery capacity.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 4:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't trying to imply that hybrids charge/discharge fully. I'm just saying that they lose/gain substantial amounts of charge many times a day.

For a Leaf, going from 85% to 15% will drive you 65 miles. If that was a typical day's use, you'd be driving 20000+ miles a year.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 11:21:13 AM , Rating: 2
It's not going to have the same range in 10 years, but even 60% of the original range will still be very usable by someone in the market for a used car and be almost as efficient. If you do replace the battery 10 years from now, it will be a lot cheaper then, and the car will likely be usable another 10 years.

Yes, it is a gamble, and that's why you look at leases where the manufacturer takes on all the risk, because they have the best information. Auto companies lost billions on poorly predicted residuals when the recession hit, so they're going to be more careful now.

Nobody knows what the Leaf battery pack costs. Insiders were saying $375/kWh a long time ago, which means $9k, and that was before the new facility was running. 15 years isn't out of the question, either. 5000+ cycles has been proven by several battery makers. Anecdotal stories about capacity loss in AZ doesn't tell you anything about average cycle life.

A123 shows data claiming 65% capacity after 20000 full DoD cycles, which would imply over 1 million miles in the Leaf. I doubt Nissan's battery is that good, but 200k is certainly doable.

By JediJeb on 1/15/2013 4:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you do replace the battery 10 years from now, it will be a lot cheaper then, and the car will likely be usable another 10 years.

That is assuming the battery tech is nearly the same and someone still supplies a large volume of those batteries. Can you replace a 10 year old computer processor with the same model cheaply and easily currently? It is difficult to even find batteries to replace the ones in an rechargeable drill after 10 years, I sure hope it won't be the same for cars. But if they make it expensive to replace the batteries then it will make people want to upgrade the whole car instead, which they might do to push sales.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 4:49:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's possible, but I don't see why, in 10 years, batteries would be any different than other car parts. Today we have parts being built for 15 year-old cars and sold for a lot less than what your dealer offers.

I'd be really shocked if nobody figures out how to replace the cells in a Leaf battery pack or create a substitute.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 12:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
So what? Even with the tax break calculated in, you can buy the car and drive for almost 5 years before you hit the price of the leaf!

By Mint on 1/15/2013 7:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
After those 5 years, you can sell the cars, and you'll have more money in your pocket if you originally chose the Leaf.

Or you can keep running it, and your cost will be less than running the used Rio.

Either way, the Leaf is the smarter option.

By Dr of crap on 1/15/2013 1:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
WOW 5 years - you think that's too much?

How long to do you keep your cars?

Me - over 10 years.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 1:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
huh? I think you misunderstand. You can buy the car and drive it for five years for the price of the leaf. If you want to keep it longer then go for it, It will have been long paid for!

By Mint on 1/15/2013 2:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
You're not very bright, are you.

Who is going to pay for the gas and maintenance of that crappy Rio after five years? It's not free to run. The point is that over 10 years, the Leaf will work out cheaper.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 2:38:01 PM , Rating: 2
Oh Jesus Christ, Pick another car on that list then. The point is vs buying a leaf, any of those cars is more economical. I already found your leased car for cheaper than you r leaf so just STFU already

By Mint on 1/15/2013 4:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
You didn't find jack.

You claim that a dog-slow two-seat car with half the interior space is equivalent to the Leaf.

Everyone on this board knows how dumb you are for thinking that. Not even you would ever buy that car.

By JediJeb on 1/15/2013 4:10:34 PM , Rating: 2
If you have to replace the battery at 10 years then the savings of the Leaf will be lost versus any of the cheaper cars. At best it will be a push in overall costs.

Now if you keep the Leaf for over 16 years and 235K miles as I have my current vehicle, how much will maintenance costs on the Leaf be? That is uncharted waters for any EV right now.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 5:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
We don't know what battery costs will be in 2023, so you can't say that with any certainty. Envia systems is promising $125/kWh by 2018, i.e. $3k for a Leaf sized pack.

True, it is uncharted waters. However, everything we know about electric motors in industry suggests that they are lower maintenance than gasoline motors. So far, hybrids have scored very well in reliability, and it makes sense since they take load/wear off the gas engine. EVs have done very well also.

By othercents on 1/15/2013 8:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
If you include the tax credit, the breakeven point is (($28800-$7500-$13600)/$4)*30 mi/gal = 57750 miles.

I think you forgot a few things. First I get an extra $6500 in tax credit from the state I live in. Second MPG used isn't going to be accurate for everyone. I typically only drive surface streets every day averaging 25 MPG. Lastly you didn't take into account for electricity, however I get mine for free.

My breakeven is 7500 miles or < 1 year of driving. After 3 years I would have saved $3,600 in gas costs.

By Felthis on 1/15/2013 9:05:19 AM , Rating: 2
If you have $14000 a year in taxes I don't think that a break even point really applies to you ;)

By ebakke on 1/15/2013 9:34:52 AM , Rating: 2
They're credits, not deductions. If he had $0 in income (and thus owed $0 in taxes), he'd still get a check for $6500 and $7500.

Second, making sound financial decisions applies to everyone. People who make ~$82k a year (a ~$14k federal tax burden in 2012 with the standard deduction and claiming 1 exemption) aren't wiping themselves with $100 bills.

By ebakke on 1/15/2013 9:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
First I get an extra $6500 in tax credit from the state [...] Lastly you didn't take into account for electricity, however I get mine for free.
Sounds like you have a lot of other people paying for your lifestyle.

By mellomonk on 1/15/2013 12:47:07 PM , Rating: 5
Sounds like you have a lot of other people paying for your lifestyle.

Wow. Tax and other incentives have been a part of the way this country operates for a long long time. Oklahoma land rush? A myriad of incentives for companies to electrify the rural US. Tax incentives from communities to attract a given manufacture or business. The tax carrot approach is old tried and true.

The tax incentives are a statement of belief by our government/s that this is a technology they believe benefits our society as a whole and is worthy of being nurtured. And ultimately it part of a platform that a majority of folks voted for in the last two elections. At least it is a little more transparent then being manipulated into a given (profitable) 'lifestyle' by some greedy auto manufacture's marketing department.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 9:12:35 AM , Rating: 2
That's a joke of a comparison.

A base Rio isn't close to the same class of car. It doesn't even have power door locks or windows! It'll be at least $16.5k for a comparable trim, and it still won't have anywhere near the reliability or resale value of the Leaf.

Do a fair comparison: Kia's site shows that you can lease a Rio for $159/month. Add gas costs for 1000 miles/mo and you're up to $290/mo.

The Leaf had already been going for $200/mo without this cheaper model, so after electricity costs you're looking at $50/mo savings for a better car that drives silently with instant torque.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 9:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
No it's not. The rio had the best fuel economy so I chose it as a specific example from the list of cars under 15K. You can easily bump the price range into the 15K-20K category and still find a better deal than a leaf with better resale.
If you lease any vehicle then resale is a non issue

Reliability? Leaf? Have you missed the articles about its range problems? It only has 73mile range to begin with. Chop that down because of all of the other mitigating factors and it just doesn't make any sense.

Instant torque? Really? It's a commuter car. You racing your leaf? How much torque do you need for stop light traffic?

By Mint on 1/15/2013 12:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
If you lease any vehicle then resale is a non issue
It's not a non-issue. It's factored into the lease rate. That's what the residual is.

Show me where you can lease a gas car and fuel it for $250/mo.
Reliability? Leaf? Have you missed the articles about its range problems?
And what did these articles say about AVERAGE reliability? Nothing?

Yeah, you make plenty of sense. Comprehensive reliability statistics from Consumer Reports pale in comparison to the opinion you can form from articles with zero data...
Instant torque? Really? It's a commuter car. You racing your leaf? How much torque do you need for stop light traffic?
If everyone was happy with a Rio's acceleration, then why is the average engine displacement over 3L? Of course there's value in a responsive engine. One of the biggest complaints about the Prius is its performance.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 12:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
Again provide me a link to where I can lease a leaf at that price! Show me a lease where you can get a leaf and keep it charged for 250$ a month.

Of course there is value in a responsive engine but we're talking about the leaf and the Rio or any other commuter car on that list. 0-60 isn't a priority with these cars.

Seriously torque? but range isn't a factor to you but oh it's got torque!

Sorry, but unless your electric car is a tesla roadster don't be disappointed if its performance is sluggish. It wasn't meant to be anything but.

You can continue to ignore all the articles talking about issues with the batteries if you want. I didn't realize that unless it comes from consumer reports that it just cant be real.

By Mint on 1/15/2013 2:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
Again provide me a link to where I can lease a leaf at that price!
I showed you a link up top. Your pathetic comparison with a two seater is ludicrous. Why didn't you go even further and point out a moped as an alternative to the Leaf?
but range isn't a factor
When did I say it wasn't a factor? This is entirely in the context of a second car. If the Leaf's range is an issue, then you have zero chance of buying it: You don't care about price, you don't care about efficiency, and you don't care about performance, because you won't buy the car. Period.

If that's your only argument, then leave the discussion.
You can continue to ignore all the articles talking about issues with the batteries if you want. I didn't realize that unless it comes from consumer reports that it just cant be real.
Toyota had issues with the pedal. Ford had issues with fire risks. Honda had issues with cars rolling away without the key. Kia had issues with air bags. This doesn't even cover 1% of issues that cars have. EVERY CAR HAS ISSUES.

What matters is average reliability. The articles you mention give zero information about that. Consumer Reports does.

By tayb on 1/15/2013 9:56:59 AM , Rating: 2
You aren't comparing apples to apples when you locate the cheapest car money can buy. A similarly equipped Rio will easily push $20k and it will still be a Kia Rio. Where did you get the 30/40 number? They advertise 28/36 and fuel estimates from actual users are quite a bit lower.

I realize there are better options but if you want a nicer car the Leaf isn't such a bad deal anymore. At the new price I can see a market for it for sure.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 10:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think it is when it's in the context of secondary commuter car. I did a quick search for cars under 15k. That's what the article said the mpg was. I calculated off the city mpg they gave (30mpg). There are other cars on that list that have the same/slightly lower mpg but the point remains the same. You can buy a much cheaper car and a hell of a lot of gas for the equivalent price. You don't have to worry about range, and the effects weather will have, how much of a load you're carrying in the car will have on it.

By Qapa on 1/15/2013 12:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, it is obvious that you don't agree with tax incentives, but you cannot compare the price a person pays without that. so they won't need to hit 28.8k but 21.3k, if there are no other state incentives.
So also, 4-5years instead.

By Manch on 1/15/2013 1:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
fair enough. Even with the tax incentive yeah,you can buy the cheapo kia drive it for almost five years before it costs as much as the leaf. Look at the link and there are other cars that are better than the kia and the gist is the same. You can buy the car and drive a lot of miles before you hit the price point of the leaf after tax incentive and everything. No range limit issues. I just do not believe that electric cars subsidized or not are viable or economical.

By DockScience on 1/15/2013 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the interest on the money saved up front.

Take that extra money, buy Conoco oil stock for a 5% dividend return worth an extra 240 gallons of gas per year on year one.

Been waiting
By conquistadorst on 1/15/2013 9:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
Potentially a game changer? Like some people, I'd like to be green if it didn't require cutting my wrists financially... So, I've been waiting for a price drop on EVs for awhile. Keep it coming! These could never replace both cars though, just the one we carpool to work.

RE: Been waiting
By Mint on 1/15/2013 9:47:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think plug in hybrids will be the real game changer, e.g. a Leaf with a smaller battery but a cheap engine/generator squeezed in.

Still, there's probably a good 10-20% of households that could substitute a gas car with an EV, despite range limits. Hopefully Nissan introduces a model with a nicer body shape in a year or two.

RE: Been waiting
By Nutzo on 1/15/2013 10:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
What they need is something like the Leaf, but with a small generator and a small gas tank that could re-charge the batteries when you don't have access to to a plug. Make it so the generator could run while the car is turned off and parked.

Even a 5 gallon tank would be enough to charge the batteries a couple times. (30mpg x 5 gallons = 150 miles, or 2x the battery range).
This way if I needed to drive 60 miles one way, I could have the batteries charge up while I'm visiting and then have the power to drive back home.

RE: Been waiting
By Mint on 1/15/2013 12:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. You can buy 30hp motors for $1k, so I think it would only cost $2k for Nissan to make a small generator and squeeze it in the hood while removing some batteries. A nicer body would help, too :)

99% of the time you wouldn't have to stop to recharge, either. That's enough to cruise on the highway while also recharging a bit.

The only problem is marketing. The Volt was unfairly trashed for getting 37MPG on gas, even though you'd only be using that mode for 1/4 of your miles or less. This cheapo solution would likely only get 30MPG in range extended mode.

RE: Been waiting
By aliasfox on 1/15/2013 1:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
Where my parents live (suburban central NJ), an EV like the Leaf could be a substitute for nearly 50% of cars. Most people either live within 15-20 miles of work or work in NYC and take the NJTransit commuter train. Taking this into account, any household that currently has two or more cars (the vast majority of two-income households) could very likely replace one of them with an EV and feel no impact in their lives whatsoever.

$28,800 - $7,500 Federal tax deduction gets one to $21,300. If you figure the average commuter Corolla, Civic, Mazda3, etc goes for about $17-19k, that's really not a significant up-front premium, and it will only shrink over the next few years as the technology becomes more mature.

Only one problem
By Cluebat on 1/15/2013 11:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
I am so close to buying one of these.

The only issue I have is that I would want a quick-swap battery so that I could let a solar panel charge a secondary battery pack during the day.

Also in the event that there is infrastructure for future refueling stations for battery swapping.

RE: Only one problem
By acer905 on 1/15/2013 12:30:34 PM , Rating: 3
I think if you're all for solar charging, you'd be better off with a large bank of 12V Lead-Acid batteries stacked up in a shed with a couple solar panels on the roof. Then just wire that into the cars charging circuit so it uses the battery bank before switching to wall current. Mobile batteries are way to expensive due to weight limitations.

RE: Only one problem
By Cluebat on 1/15/2013 2:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, your right. It just doesn't seem like a very elegant solution.

I hope for breakthroughs in batteries and PV to make this more interesting.

For now I would just like to get one to charge from the grid and hope for doubling of range and cost reductions in the near future. I do have a lot of faith in battery and PV cell improvements.

RE: Only one problem
By mellomonk on 1/15/2013 12:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize the size, weight, and more importantly the cost of these battery packs right? Swapping out packs is long way, and several breakthroughs in cost of manufacture away. And in that time frame you are likely to see capacity increases that would ultimately negate the need to swap.

I think the cost benefit analysis here on EV vs budget ICE vehicles is interesting, but missing the point as to why people drive EVs at this point. It is a statement of belief. A progressive statement that this is a technology that they want to support and encourage. Be it energy independence, environmental, or just futurist aspirations, one doesn't usually choose and EV on cost benefit analysis. Who really chooses any vehicle that way? It is important and usually informs which class of vehicle you buy, but ultimately one chooses what they like within their means.

Slowly but surely EVs are coming where they make sense. I've seen some impressively large Smith electric delivery trucks here and there. Really makes sense for a fixed route stop and go fleet truck that 'refuels' at a central base. Pretty cool.

By johnsmith9875 on 1/16/2013 1:39:27 AM , Rating: 3
But neither did the Humvee, and they sold tens of thousands of those gas guzzling pigs.

By arthur449 on 1/15/2013 7:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
Remember to double check numbers and names in articles before they go to press, so to speak.

" ... is the result of a 20120 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan ... "

I'm pleased that Nissan was able to get such a dramatic reduction in cost from domestic production. I can't shake the feeling, however, that some of the reduction in the Leaf MSRP is due to Nissan shaving off profit margins in order to get higher sales volumes.

1 down 2 to go
By BillyBatson on 1/15/2013 10:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's going to take 2 more such price drops for this type of vehicle before it really takes off. Year need to be in be scion price range for sales o pick up to significant numbers.

By Dr of crap on 1/15/2013 1:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad, so sad for those that bought one of these prior to this model year and OVER paid for it.

Damn !

holy crap!
By Philippine Mango on 1/15/2013 4:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Does this mean I can buy a fully electric car in california for $18800 after california and federal tax rebate!? If only this was the news for the Honda Fit EV instead of the crappier Nissan Leaf!

By Just_chris on 1/15/2013 9:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
Why is everyone hell bent on justifying the leaf economically? There are lots and lots of ways of getting around that are cheaper than a brand new car. I take the bus to work that means my daily commute is about as cheap and emissions free as it can be. It also means that I get a walk in the morning and evening but unfortunately strange people sometimes try and talk to me, I have to live close to work and I often get "time table anxiety" when running late. None of this is of any relevance whats so ever.

What this story tells people is that the car has become more affordable (i.e. more people can afford it), it doesn't tell you anything else. Is a leaf more practical for you than a smart or a Rio or an enormous overprice whale of an SUV? God only knows, if you want a leaf buy leaf but if you are considering buying a new car don't bother trying to justify it as an investment or something that will save you money. A car will cost you money over its life, lots and lots of money.

By foxalopex on 1/16/2013 2:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
I actually own the Volt having bought it late last year. In Canada after taxes and the rebate in Ontario, it sells for $42 K. Although the Leaf is about $10 K less, I'd still get the Volt. I never have to worry about range as you can fuel this car up. Another problem that most people don't realize is that electric cars don't work so well when you live in an area where temperatures can dive to -4F or worse. The Volt gets around that by burning gas to keep you and the car warm literally. In cold climates, waste heat isn't waste heat. I would hate to see what the Leaf would do in our nasty winters. So far winter fuel mileage has been impressive, I'm seeing 40-50 mpg and keep in mind that's in very cold weather that caused my former 2005 corolla to go through gas like there was no tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see what it does in the summer. Insurance for a 2013 volt is actually the same as a 2005 corolla. It turns out insurance cares more about safety features than the price of a car. And yes you really need to drive an electric to understand why some folks are fans of them. They might not do 0-60 like a sports car but they have an absolutely smooth acceleration curve due to CVT type transmission so no gear jumps as in an automatic and they respond instantly. Other fun things you can do is if you're in a rush you can floor it literally and people arn't going to be wondering why it sounds like your engine is going to explode. It is that quiet. Cost wise I'll probably get back the extra $$$ I spent in gas in 10 years but yeah, it's closer to a luxury car. It's not going to save you a lot in $$$. And no worries about the battery. GM has massive reserves on the battery to make it last longer and they have a tool to swap out individual cells. All in all a really nice alternative to the Leaf.

By chloefish on 1/15/2013 9:49:19 PM , Rating: 1
@Loise, you make $27h...good for you! I make up to $85h working from home. My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45h to $85h…heres a good example of what i'm doing, Great70dotcom

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