If the prohibitive price of electric cars has been preventing you from taking the plunge, then we’ve good news. Nissan has droped the price of its top-spec Leaf and developed a couple of cheaper, fewer-frills, versions to boot. The entry-level Leaf S and the mid-rannge Leaf SV will sit a couple of tiers below the full price Leaf SL.
The top-spec Leaf SV will be priced at £34,840 (£21,771), a big reduction on the 2012 car’s price tag of $37,250 (£23,275). The mid-range Leaf SV, meanwhile, will cost $31,820 (£19,882), while the Leaf S retails for a mere $28,800 (£17,995). All three cars qualify for federal and state tax credits designed to encourage electric car uptake, so a further $7,500 can be lopped off the prices, which would bring the cheapest model as low as $19,000.
If you happen to live in California, you can get a further rebate of $2,500, bringing the price of a 2013 Leaf as low as $18,800 (£11,745). Before you get excited, it’s worth noting these prices are exclusive of tax, but they are a stark reminder that electric car prices are on a downward trend.
The price drop can largely be attributed to the fact Nissan reently began US assembly of the 2013 Leaf at its manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee — an initiative that allows the company to avoid fluctuations in foreign currency.
The basic Leaf S comes equipped with six-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way manual front passenger’s seat, trip computer showing instant and average enegy consumption, driving time and vehicle range, automatic temperature control, and a 3.6kW electric charger.
The SV models get all the above plus 16-inch alloys ,a faster 6.6kW onboard charger, cruise control, auto dimming rear view mirror, a hybrid heating system, uprated six-speaker audio system, 7-inch colour LCD, Pandora link for iPhone, a sat-nav with Carwings telematics and a B-mode setting that claws back more energy under regenerative braking.
The SL model adds 17-inch wheels, leather seats, a DC 480V fast charge port, automatic LED headlights, fog lights, a solar panel on the rear spoiler, and HomeLink Universal Transceiver for opening your garage door.
Nissan has yet to confirm whether it will release the Leaf S or Leaf SV in Europe.