Nissan is expanding the limited rollout of its Leaf electric car for 2012 to five more states. Starting this fall, customers in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, can order one.
But those customers will pay more than those who bought 2011 models. Weeks after Chevrolet dropped prices by $1,000 and reduced standard equipment on the extended-range electric Volt, Nissan is raising base prices by $2,420 on the Leaf. The new price, $33,630, includes a standard cold weather package, which includes heated seats and steering wheel, and a battery warmer. The Leaf will still be eligible for the federal $7,500 electric-car tax credit, bringing the net price down to $26,130. The lease price (for 36 months with $2,000 down) rises from $349 to $369.
Prices have gone up $3,530, to $38,100 on the upper-trim level SL version, which Nissan says accounts for at least 93 percent of Leaf sales. The higher price now includes a standard Level 3 “fast-charge” port, which will allow the battery to be recharged to 80 percent in less than a half-hour from large public charge stations. (Very few of these stations are available, however.)
Later in 2012, Leaf deliveries will expand to include Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Next year, Leaf production will move from Japan to Tennessee, and Nissan plans to expand production to as many as 150,000 units annually. Cars built in Tennessee will also have a faster charger that will cut charge times in half, from about eight hours to about four.
See our guide to alternative fuels.
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