New 2013 Nissan LEAF is the Most Affordable 5-Seat EV In the US

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Have you ever been completely surprised by a twist at the end of a movie? Well, that is exactly what Nissan did today at the Detroit Auto Show when they revealed the pricing of the 2013 Nissan LEAF. As we had projected in last Friday’s forecast, everybody knew that the Nissan LEAF would be an important Japanese car, but we didn’t think it would be exciting.

You see, we thought we already knew everything about the 2013MY LEAF, as full specifications were released last Wednesday. Even though Nissan subtly kept the price under wraps, we thought we could see where the plot was heading… The new LEAF would be better than last year’s, and maybe it would even be a tiny bit cheaper since it’s now being manufactured in the United States. Today the curveball came when Nissan told us that the entry price for the new Nissan LEAF will be less than $20,000.

To be perfectly fair, what you’ll pay at the dealership will be $28,800. It’s only after applying the $7,500 federal tax credit and the potential $2,500 state rebate that you may be eligible for that the final price will come to $18,800. However, the 2012 Nissan LEAF had an entry price of $35,200, which means you can now obtain the most popular electric vehicle in existence for a full $6,400 cheaper than last year.

2013 Nissan Leaf electric car

What Else Is New in the 2013 Nissan LEAF?

The primary contributing factor to the 2013 model year’s budget-friendliness is the introduction of a new entry-level “S” trim package. However, the massive affordability of the 2013 LEAF is far from the only appealing new feature.

In case you missed the original Japanese launch last November (you know, back in 2012), one of the greatest new features is a completely overhauled electric powertrain. The new powertrain will further reduce consumption of precious natural elements by up to 40% compared to most electric motors, and will decrease power consumption thanks to its compact and light-weight design. In fact, the new LEAF is 80 kg (176 pounds) lighter than the 2012 version of the Japanese-made electric vehicle.

The 2013 LEAF also includes more efficient regenerative brakes, better aerodynamics, more trunk space, and an increased driving range.

Of course, even though Nissan’s new EV is intended to be wallet-friendly, the higher end packages still have some cool, worthwhile features. For example, if you spring for the Nissan LEAF SV or SL trim package, then your LEAF will include a 6.6kW onboard charger that will slash your charging times literally in half. Naturally, the higher end packages also come with sensory improvements such as 16 inch or 17 inch alloy wheels, a Bose energy-efficient surround sound system, LED headlights and leather-appointed seats.

Through all of the features, though, there is no doubt that the 18% decrease in price that Nissan is offering for the 2013 Nissan LEAF is very exciting, and bodes well for the future of electric vehicles. Nissan hit the nail on the head in their press release today when they said, “Nissan’s objective for the LEAF has always been to produce an affordable zero emission vehicle for the mass-market, and the 2013 LEAF is a prime example of that commitment”.

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