The Nissan Leaf electric car took a step closer to reality today, as Nissan announced a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $32,780. When consumers take advantage of a $7,500 federal tax credit, they will pay $25,280 for the Leaf, Nissan said.
Due out in dealerships in December of this year, the Leaf is a five-seat all-electric car with a range of about 100 miles. It uses a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged in about seven or eight hours at 220 V and 15 A. At 440 V quick-charge stations, it will reach 80% charge in about 25 minutes, Nissan says.
Given the failure of pure EVs during the late 1990s, many experts believe that Nissan is taking a risk by marketing a pure, battery-powered car. Nissan believes, however, that the vehicle will appeal to big city drivers. “If someone is driving less than 100 miles per day on their normal commute, then we think this will be a great vehicle for them,” said Brian Brockman, in a Design News interview late last year.
Nissan believes that government subsidies will also motivate consumers to buy the Leaf. A $5,000 statewide tax rebate in California could help convince buyers, along with a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia, a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon, and carpool access in some states, including California.
The Leaf will offer standard LED headlights, along with standard Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius/XM satellite radio capabilities, electronic stability control, traction control and six airbags.
Nissan will also offer personal charging stations, designed and installed by AeroVironment, that operate on a 220 V supply. The charging docks will cost about $2,200, including installation, Nissan said.