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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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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.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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