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Nissan LEAF
Nissan to be aggressive with LEAF pricing

Nissan is revealing a few more details about the buying process and deliveries for its upcoming LEAF fully-electric vehicle. Nissan announced yesterday that potential customers can begin putting down $100 deposits on the LEAF starting in April -- to be the first to get news about when the exact date in April deposits will be taken, Nissan recommends that you sign up at this website.

In August, Nissan will begin taking firm orders for the LEAF. Finally, in December, deliveries of the first LEAF EVs will take place around the same time in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

For inquiring minds, the battery pack will be included in the purchase price of the LEAF contrary to previous reports and speculation on the subject. Speaking of pricing, a Nissan spokesman claims that the official price of the LEAF -- which will also be announced in April -- will be close to that of a base model Toyota Prius. Toyota's Prius currently retails for just under $23,000 in the United States, so that would be an astonishing feat for the Japanese automaker.

We're more inclined to be believe that the "low 20s" price tag is after a $7,500 federal tax credit which is sure to attract quite a few buyers. However, if the price tag is before the $7,500 credit, Nissan dealerships might have trouble keeping up with demand for the compact hatchback.

"The Nissan LEAF purchase process is effortless, transparent and accessible, offering value with a one-stop-shop approach for everything related to the car, including the assessment, permitting and installation of in-home battery charging units," said Carlos Tavares, Chairman, Nissan Americas. "We want everyone to feel good about having a car that is affordable, fun to drive and good for the environment."

The Nissan LEAF uses a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an 80kW electric motor (107hp). The vehicle has a maximum range of 100 miles and can travel at up to 87 mph which should be fast enough for just about every U.S. market save for Atlanta.

Although not a full-electric vehicle like the LEAF, the Chevrolet Volt will also be vying for a place U.S. customers' garages this year. The Volt will hit the streets in the closing months of 2010 and could be priced in the low $30,000 range after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Volt has a battery-only range of 40 miles, but can use its gasoline engine/generator to travel an additional 300 miles.

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Too expensive
By corduroygt on 2/12/2010 11:36:01 AM , Rating: 2
for a glorified golf cart

How am I supposed to drive to NY from DC in 20 degree weather in this thing? With a prius, I'd just gas up and go.

RE: Too expensive
By Brovane on 2/12/2010 1:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot. This is really a second car that is optimized for short commutes. It wasn't built to meet everyone's driving needs. I commute a total of 25 miles a day to work. This would be a great car to replace my daily commuter car.

RE: Too expensive
By corduroygt on 2/12/2010 3:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
The extra insurance and payments to get this as a second car over just having a single car would never pay off.
People seem to forget, asking people to buy two cars is environmentally FAR WORSE than buying a single regular car.

RE: Too expensive
By namechamps on 2/12/2010 3:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Most families are 2 (or 3) car families already.

For example me and my wife own a car. We could replace ONE of our TWO cars with this vehicle and substantially reduce emissions & energy use while still having one long range vehicle.

Even if you only replaced all the "second vehicles" in 2 car households that would be tens of millions of vehicles.

For lots of other families who travel beyond the max range so rarely you could have only an EV and use a rental car when needing to travel extended differences.

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.

RE: Too expensive
By Keeir on 2/13/2010 12:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know... i think the whole "2" car thing will not turn out as people intend. A great number of 2 car households are 2 working member households. In such situations, both cars need to be full cars. Why? Well for many of the people who could use BEV in such a situation should already be able to ride share or use buses etc. Not all, but the difference between doesn't need a car and doesn't need a full car will likely result in a small group.

BEVs will not be considered full cars (in the US) until real-life range is significantlly more than 100 miles or one can grab 10-20 miles of range per minute.

BEVs can work as a communter car (or even cars) in a household/situation where there is an extremely high availibility rate of a full car and driver. If I had a stay at home wife, I could see getting a BEV for myself and letting her have the full gas car. (I could never do it the other way around. A 30-35 mile radius range is just not acceptable)

RE: Too expensive
By jimbojimbo on 2/15/2010 3:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
Rent a car for those trips.

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