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Nissan Leaf
The 2013 model is expected to have a 25 percent boost, putting its U.S. EPA rating in the 90 mile range

New versions of Nissan's all-electric Leaf are expected to be a bit different with the 2013 model year.

According to High Gear Media, the 2013 Nissan Leaf will not only have new features like a 6.6 kilowatt charger and leather seats, but also a model with longer range and another with a smaller battery pack (which will be cheaper).

The Nissan Leaf is currently rated a 73 mile range by the EPA. This, of course, depends on factors like speed, the use of air conditioing/heat and the temperature outside. But the latest news report mentions that the 2013 model with a longer range will have a 25 percent improvement, putting the Leaf's U.S. EPA rating in the 90 mile range.

That kind of boost would put the Leaf ahead of EVs like the Ford Focus Electric, which has an EPA rating of 76 miles, and the Coda Sedan, which has an EPA rating of 88 miles.

The cheaper 2013 Leaf may only be released in Japan, but that hasn't been confirmed yet. The price of that model is unclear as well.

In addition to range, price and battery size changes, the 2013 Leaf models are expected to have design changes as well.

Nissan wasn't supposed to make many of these changes for at least another year, but with sales in the U.S. sitting at unimpressive numbers, Nissan recognizes that it's going to have to spruce the EV up in order to justify production at its Tennessee factory.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Nissan expected to sell 20,000 EVs in the U.S. during 2012, but has only sold 3,543 so far. Only 395 Leafs were sold alone in the month of July, which was a 58 percent drop compared to sales in July 2011.

Source: High Gear Media

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RE: I drove one at the dealer.
By JediJeb on 8/17/2012 2:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
This will literally save you thousands of dollars per year.

I just ran the numbers for myself. I someone gave me a Leaf then at $4 gas I could save $2,222 per year on fuel. But can I get one making that much in payments and insurance per year?

On a 5 year loan that would come to $11,110, less than half what the car costs. Insurance would probably run me another $1000 per year maybe a little more.

If I could purchase a Leaf at a price of $23,000 then it would cost me roughly $5,500 per year(at $1000 for insurance) while I would be saving $2,222 in fuel so I would literally be losing $3,278 per year until it is paid off in 5 years. That is a total loss of $16,390 over 5 years. If I then continue to save $2,222 on gasoline each year I must drive it another 7.38 years to recoup the loss of the first 5 years. That is also considering $0 per month for electricity(a variable I couldn't quickly estimate). So at $0 for electricity and gasoline remaining at $4 per gallon and me continuing to drive ~10,000 miles per year it would take me 12.38 years to break even after purchasing a Leaf on gasoline savings alone. More like 14 years I imagine once I figure in the cost of electricity. Since my current vehicle would probably bring me less than $2,500 on trade I imagine those numbers are pretty realistic.

Now if I was planning on purchasing a new vehicle already, then the numbers would not look so bad compared to another ICE powered vehicle, but then if that new one has higher mileage than the current 18mpg of my truck it again skews the savings against the Leaf.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the EVs like the Leaf or the new Focus EV. My biggest problem is looking at them as some magical money saving machine compared to other gasoline vehicles in their size and price class.

RE: I drove one at the dealer.
By DockScience on 8/17/2012 6:09:30 PM , Rating: 2

Shame on you for using math and rational thought to put down green dreams where dancing unicorns power the world for free.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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