If you drive a Nissan Leaf and aren't completely satisfied with it, now'd be a pretty good time to sell.

That's the conclusion of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), whose most recent guide indicated that the battery-electric Leaf holds 95 percent of its value after a year, according to Automotive News.

By comparison, a Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in holds 90 percent of its value and a Toyota Prius hybrid holds 88 percent of its value, the publication said. In real terms, though, the Prius comes off looking like a better value because the Leaf and Volt numbers subtract the $7,500 federal tax incentive to get the "new car" price.

Either way, Volt and Leaf values are expected to fall a bit later this year because rental car companies that bought them new will start selling them back into the used-car market, giving the supply chain a big boost.

In the first four months of 2012, Nissan sold 2,103 Leafs in the U.S., twice as many as it did a year earlier. Nissan, which sold about 9,700 Leafs in the U.S. in all of last year, is set to release May sales figures later today.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      Classic Bob
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the end, an electric car’s value will be based much more on remaining battery life than supply and demand...
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Classic Bob
        That doesn't even make sense. Without any demand, there's no price at all, regardless of how much battery is left.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          "Nissan can't make them fast enough." Untrue. They just choose NOT to sell them in the US.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Without demand I wouldn't have to wait three months for delivery of a Leaf. Nissan can't make them fast enough.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      PARKERS PRICE GUIDE - NISSAN LEAF Nissan's Leaf now expected to lose £20,235 ($31,087) over three years Residual values now match, or are lower, than 'green' diesels Buyers unsure about the longevity of the battery and hardware. Previously forecast residuals for Nissan's all-electric Leaf have been revised downwards, indicating it will suffer from heavier depreciation than originally expected. Initially predicted to retain 46% of its original value after three years and 30,000 miles, the Leaf is now anticipated to retain 35% - an 11% drop. This means that the Nissan, which costs £30,925 excluding any grants, could lose as much as £20,101 in three years. Originally it would have lost around £16,669. This high rate of depreciation isn't unique to the Leaf. The all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Citroen C-Zero are also expected to be worth around 34% of their original value after three years, resulting in a loss of approximately £20,000 in depreciation. These drops are as a result of a lack of buyer confidence in the technology, concerns over range and confusion over where and how owners can charge the cars. Many potential buyers are realising that electric cars can more expensive to buy and run than a conventional diesel - which is faster and doesn't have any range limitations. Customers are also realising that electric cars aren't as green as they claim to be. While they don't produce any emissions directly, they are charged off the national grid. This means the majority of their power is generated by coal and gas power stations. Consequently, in some instances, an electric car can indirectly have greater emissions than a diesel car due to how the power is generated. Further affecting used values is the increased availability, both new and used, of hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Lexus CT200h. These offer some of the benefits of electric cars without the need for recharging, attracting customers who are suffering from range anxiety. Even though Nissan guarantees the Leaf's battery for eight years, or 100,000 miles, the modern generation of electric cars has no track record of reliability or expense, so buyers are uncertain as to what costs or issues they could be facing in the future. As with the recently announced electric vans values, however, used electric cars could make an excellent buy for those who cover short distances - if owners are willing to accept that a failed battery may cost more to replace than the total value of the car. Nissan Leaf battery replacement UK-based news outlet The Times (sub. req.) is reporting that the cost to replace the 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides the go-juice for the Nissan Leaf is a staggering £19,392 ($31,753 U.S. at the current exchange rate). The Times arrived at this figure after Andy Palmer, Nissan Great Britain senior vice-president. http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/advice/green-cars/archive/unease-over-used-electric-cars/ Some folk are in for a nasty electric shock
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Pretty odd since Nissan actually guarantee the Leaf residuals. I note that you don't give links to your misinformation. You also spout the usual claptrap about the cost of a Leaf battery replacement, in spite of having been corrected umpteen times, In case this troll is confusing anyone, the insured value of the 22 kwh Kangoo ZE battery is £7500. The battery has identical modules to the Leaf. That puts the 24kwh battery at £8182, around $12,764
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe this is after deducting the $7,500 tax rebate. Excluding that the Prius holds it's value best.
        DarylMc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        If that's the case it makes sense anyway. If someone purchases a new Volt or Leaf then they could consider the price after rebate to be the purchase price. Very good resale on all 3 vehicles mentioned is worth noting.
      lne937s
      • 2 Years Ago
      For everyone pushing that the Volt is "American", remember that it only has 40% North American parts content. Major components are from overseas, like the Japanese-made hybrid system. http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/long-term-test-2011-chevrolet-volt.html But the US-made LEAF is only a few months away. Battery, motors, etc. all made in the US, with only a few specialized components being imported. It will be made on the same Tennessee assembly line as the 2013 Altima, which comes in with a whopping 98% North American parts content. http://wpln.org/?p=37574
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        While the 2011/12 Volt is 46% domestic, that has changed since the ICE and battery factories opened in Michigan this year. The 2013 Volt Monroney stickers are not available yet, but the domestic content should increase up to about 80% or more. Most vehicles these days source parts worldwide.
          lne937s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          80% is extremely unlikely. Even with the LG battery moved from Korea to US, it is still packed with foreign parts, like the hybrid system. Its platform-mate, the Cruze, only has 45% North American parts content. Volt did did creep up a little from the 40% in 2011. However, it would surprise me if the Volt gets much over 50% once the battery is made here. http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/cruze/2011/long-term-test-2011-chevrolet-cruze-ltz.html Although all vehicles source parts internationally, many of the Detroit brands are falling behind in American parts content. It is ignorant to blindly support all vehicles from those brands out of patriotism when the brand name is often the most American thing about them.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      If a car hold's it's value like this so well in the used market, it is often the case that the demand for it is very high but the price does not meet the budget of the people demanding it. I think the $35k price is choking the sales of this car pretty badly.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Most likely, the big NEW price jump helped inflate the Leaf resale value, along with extreme scarcity. If you cannot buy a new one, and what new ones are available cost dramatically more, then the used price goes up. When Smyrna comes on line, and USDM supply comes up, expect a huge drop in used Leaf prices.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Yeah, I think sales of the Leaf would take a serious leap from current levels if they could shave off $5K or so from the purchase price.
      richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at the front end of the car. Is this a cross between a frog and a carp? (An Asian carp)?
        DarylMc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @richard
        No it's neither a frog or a carp. It's a BEV from Japan. I don't think anyone could argue that it's not the best BEV available right now whether you like the styling or not.
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DarylMc
          OK I will admit they could argue:)
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DarylMc
          @DarylMc No, It's not the best BEV at the moment, although the Leaf is probably the best in it's class of vehicle. (Oh, and incidentally. in Australia the leaf is on sale for $56,000, how is it superior to the $10,000 cheaper, locally manufactured Bev ? )
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @richard
        Agreed. It looks like a carp. What's Asian about a carp? The carp in Michigan differ from the Japanese ones only in color.
      • 2 Years Ago
      A Leaf won't run out of juce on our 38 mile (worst case) commute, why in the heck should I purchase and carry the weight of a motor - generator on the 250 days a year that we only drive 38 miles?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        I understand where you're coming from, Leaf Owner. My bike never needs gas or electricity - it's always ready to go. Why should I buy a car when my bike gets me everywhere I need to go 99.9% of the time?
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          You mis-typed the URL... you're looking for BicycleBlogGreen.com
        hodad66
        • 2 Years Ago
        different people have different needs. I drive my Volt over 90% electric but if I decide to go to a concert in Orlando I don't have to rent a car. The $350 lease is a great deal and I love the fit and finish. One smooth, quiet, fantastic ride.
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @hodad66
          That's good to hear. We don't see too many cars from USA here in Australia but Volt is expected to arrive at the end of this year.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        You should change your name to Leaf Owner Troll. Is there any particular reason you're looking for validation of your decision from ABG commenters?
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Oh c'mon Rotation It's a good choice, why not.
        DarylMc
        • 2 Years Ago
        Then I think you make a good choice but if you look at the post above you will notice that the styling is not everyones cup of tea. If you look at the post below you will notice that it's not made in USA and has a restricted range compared to the Volt. I must add neither Leaf or Volt are available in Australia yet so you are relatively spoiled for choice.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        $10k incremental cost for for the 100 days that you drive 40+ miles isn't cheaper than buying and insuring a second car?
      richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Volt won`t run out of juice though, because of the on-board generator. The Volt is a better car. And it`s American!
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan Leaf residuals are dreadful, Parkers Car No1 Price Guide on said the Leaf will lose 56% of its value in just 3 years which amounts to a massive £20,235 or $31,087 loss in value. parkers.co.uk/cars/advice/green-cars/archive/unease-over-used-electric-cars/
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Considering that the Leaf hasn't been around 3 years to have any "3 year used car sales", that price guide is purely speculative.
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      It just means that Fox news is probably good at talking down demand/price for the Volt. We have no idea what the depreciation for either the Volt or the Leaf will be in 4 years time, until we get there. The Prius is not in the same camp.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This scenario will dramatically change, as the Leaf runs out of warranty (either due to travelled distance or time). In that case (i.e. no warranty) you can easily end up buying a car with a "near death experience" battery pack, which soon cannot hold enough charge for your commutes or suddenly just dies. Thus, you have to replace it, but this (i.e. price of used Leaf + battery replacement) would probably cost you more dimes than a new Leaf (which simply makes no sense). So, first of al,l this factor (aging expensive battery) will affect most significantly used Leaf, and in general BEV prices (when their warranties draw near end or cease).
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        There would be the same issue with the Volt battery.
          lne937s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          kriszant, As the LEAF has vertically integrated battery production, the initial cost is likely lower than using a supplier. And Nissan designed its pack to be more passive in cooling and be less integrated into the car... with one of the design benefits being that the battery is intended to be removed with just a few bolts, and individual battery modules that have fallen below useful capacity to be replaced at the dealer... rather than replacing the entire battery. This extends the useable life far longer than a pack that uses a complicated cooling system and is integrated into the structure of the car, leading to you needing replacing the entire pack, rather than just one module. And because Nissan has arranged resale after the end of the useful battery life in the vehicle, total cost is likely to be even lower. Due to more intelligent modular construction and vertically integrated production, as well as pre-arranged resale, the overall cost of mantaining battery capacity is lower on the LEAF than it is on the Volt. There are likely to be a number of Volts out there in a few years carrying around a virtual brick of a battery, with the resale value being not far from the cost of replacing the battery... which is not good for resale value.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Except, the Volt (and PIP / Fisker), you can still operate under ICE if the AER drops by 25%. If the Leaf AER drops by 25%, you may not be able to use it for commuting year-round. Of course, 25% would be well beyond OEM and manufacturer prediction. And the PIP has such pathetic RL AER, a 25% drop probably won't be noticable... Nevertheless, pure BEV has some extra risk due to lack of redundancy.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          kris: The 16kwh battery of the Volt is not 'way smaller' than the 16kwh of the iMiEV, or even the 24kwh of the Leaf, and is still a tidy chunk of cash to replace. SVX: The Volt can manage on a battery with reduced capacity, but OTOH to some extent the cost of battery replacement in a BEV can be offset against their extremely low maintenance. On a plug in you have all the usual joys of the combustion engine, drive train, exhaust etc ageing as well as the battery depreciating.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yes. But: Two things make those situations pretty different. 1.) As the Volt (in general PHEVs), has way smaller battery pack, than the Leaf (in general BEVs), consequently PHEV battery packs cost way less, than BEV battery packs, thus used PHEV price + smaller battery pack replacement cost less likely would exceed the price of a new car. 2.) The Volt (PHEV) has an ICE, while the Leaf (BEV) has no means of motion other than using the battery, thus with a seriously degraded or dead battery, it is simply unusable (making the extremely expensive - almost illogical - battery replacement a must). Customers will figure this out easily. I really appreciate the enthusiasm on ABG toward pure battery vehicles (even at this very fledgling state of them), but enthusiasm cannot change evident reality, only can create a distortion field (which for non-enthusiasts sometimes looks kinda oddish).
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lne937s You have an intelligent argument with logical points, but at the moment it is simply a theoretical contingency. Let's see what we can know for sure: Instead of the radical articles, such as: "Will resale value ultimately doom the electric car?" and "Lousy resale value of electric cars means goodbye to the mainstream market", rather let me cite this one: "Will Electric Cars Have High Resale Values?" This is one of the most objective arguments about the topic, which I could find  on the "internetz": (highlighted by  Planetgreen(.com) Excerpts: "When you're researching vehicles to find the perfect ride, you'll undoubtedly check factors such as performance, cost and reliability. For many car buyers, resale value is another important consideration. When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), that last point is a difficult one to determine." So, that's what we know for sure: difficult to determine, "After many years, EVs are emerging from the shadows of the car manufacturing industry. With these cars finally entering mass production, there are many unanswered questions regarding their potential resale value." The questions are indeed still unanswered for sure. "Some say the value of the typical EV will plummet after the vehicle is five years old, at which point the car will have a trade value little more than 10 percent of the list price." So, worst case scenario: after just 5 years, trade value little more than 10 percent of the list price." Ouch! "The state-of-the-art, super-powerful lithium-ion batteries that new EVs use won't last forever. They're also incredibly expensive. For example, the relatively affordable Nissan LEAF's battery pack costs nearly $20,000, which is a huge hit on your bank account when a replacement is necessary." "Ultimately, there are too many variables to accurately predict how well used EVs will hold their value. It will be several years before we really know... consumers need time to evaluate the goods, point out the flaws and then let marketplace demand dictate resale values." http://auto.howstuffworks.com/will-electric-cars-have-high-resale-values.htm That's only what we know for sure folks.
          lne937s
          • 2 Years Ago
          The people who think "that's for sure" don't know what they are talking about. The battery in the LEAF was designed so that you would NEVER replace the whole thing. It is like a gas car- you don't replace the entire engine when you need to replace the oil, the air filter, a spark plug or a timing belt. The battery is easily removed, self supporting and easily serviced... with in-pack diagnostics identifying the podules with reduced capacity. In addition they made up how much it costs Nissan to manufacture their batteries, as they have never released that info. And it doesn't take into account any reductions in cost with mass production efficiencies. So it is pure conjecture based on false premises. The only thing "for sure" is that what they have said is not accurate.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lne937s See my new post above as a reply.
      garylai
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've had my Leaf for about 13 months and 13,000 miles now. The battery capacity is the same as the day I purchased it, no loss of capacity whatsoever yet. It's basically a brand new car. I've spent $375 on it so far - $300 in electricity and $75 for its annual service appointment where all they basically did was inspect it, rotate the tires, replace the cabin air filter, and give it new brake fluid. I'm not surprised they are holding their value well.
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