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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 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.

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