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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 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.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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