2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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  • 2012 Nissan Leaf
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Despite current low lease rates, Nissan is ready to limbo the price of the Nissan Leaf lower, lower, lower.

According to Automotive News, Nissan is preparing to build a budget version of America's most popular electric vehicle in Tennessee when the company's plant in Smyrna begins to build the Leaf there. This is scheduled to begin in December for deliveries starting in March. AN says the new entry-level Leaf will be part of the car's 2013 model year facelift and could lose some features in the nav system and LED headlights.

We have long heard that domestic production would lower the cost of the Leaf – especially since the battery will be made nearby – but so far, Nissan is not talking about what, exactly, the new, budget-level price might be. Previous rumors – and they are just rumors – pegged the pre-incentive price at something between $26,600 and $31,500. Whatever the new price is, Nissan has previously said that it expects Leaf sales to double once Smryna production comes online.

Last month, Nissan sold 984 Leafs, an improvement from the 685 sold in August. So far, in 2012, Nissan has sold 5,212 Leafs, fewer than the 7,199 it had sold in 2011 by the end of September. The current entry price for the Leaf is $35,200, plus destination and without the federal tax credit worth up to $7,500.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 69 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      "You might as well face the fact that the Leaf car resale value has been trashed, and consequently it's economic viability. That is for 100% of Leaf cars which have been bought" Just because you are emotionally upset and outraged at Nissan, doesn't mean the masses are too. There are tens of thousands of happy Leaf customers. Don't take your participation in these forums for granted, we few have delved deep into this subject, and thus, are exposed to the gritty details... even if far removed. The average person considering to buy a Leaf would have likely never heard of any Autoblog green heated discussion. Nissan's reputation will be word of mouth mostly. And so far, their approval is high. --- "I prefer however to base my comments on engineering reality." No, you don't. Because we actually agree on the engineering reality. But you make suppositions into the future on the bases on how future people might FEEL about buying a Leaf with 80% capacity. You go into the psychology of purchasing And THAT is beyond engineering. --- "your quasi- religious faith that a miracle battery will provide a universal transport solution" Haha, you are projecting again. I don't have even a thought remotely close to that. And you know this. For all the times I have written, ad nauseum, about how there IS NO "universal transport solution". I find that people can just as easily Love a technology, company or product with "quasi- religious faith" as they can HATE a technology, company or produt with "quasi- religious faith" I neither love nor hate the Leaf, nor Nissan. I advocate MODERATION at every turn, and you call ME extremist? Sorry, but it is YOUR HATE that consumes YOU. And it shows easily with your writing.
      sirvixisvexed
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since it seems Nissan is for expanding the option choices and customization of the Leaf, a liquid-cooled battery option would really help. Dealing with liquid cooling with EVs seems like a can that you can't kick down the road forever...Ain't nun uh dat ERRR kooled junk go'n git u two hunned miles uh chawge
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        Why not simply air cooling. A retrofit might be possible
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          It would be a VERY difficult retrofit. The Volt has active cooling, so it has HIGH insulation. The Leaf has passive cooling (air passing over the surface of the SEALED pack)... so it needs low insulation to allow heat to escape. Normally, that works when ambient temp is lower than the pack temp. To retrofit, the Leaf would need to completely insulate the pack from the outside. Which would first prevent its normal passive cooling ability... then a couple of holes need to be drilled into the sealed pack... and inlet and exhaust hoses need to be attached and connected to the A/C system. Then the A/C system would need to poll the Leafs BMS for temperature measurements of the pack. And turn on when needed. A complex algorithm may be needed (like the Volt) to ensure that the pack stays cool, and the A/C system doesn't completely deplete the packs energy in its attempt to keep it cool.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Active air cooling would be an improvement, since the current Leaf is just passively (as in a heat sink) cooled - not sure whether it would be good enough. This is a problem for Nissan as I'm sure they were counting on cheap passively cooled battery pack to keep their costs way down for the Leaf v2.
          Jens Kr. Kirkebø
          @Giza Plateau
          It is of course possible to use the AC to cool air used for air cooling the battery too.
          Smith Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Simple air cooling can't get the temperature of the battery BELOW ambient temperatures. The Volt cooling system uses the air conditioning loop to keep the battery BELOW ambient temperatures in very high temperatures. The Volt system will cool the batteries even when it's not plugged in under certain extreme conditions. The Volt battery is well insulated so it does not take a lot of energy to keep it cool.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        How about they just stop selling the Leaf in Arizona? It is fine elsewhere.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        @ Sirvix, Grendal, Giza Plateau, Smith Jim, Sasparilla Fizz . Ahem, ... Without wishing to sound immodest, but for some years I have been working on an evaporation cooling system for EV's , without creating excess humidity, and minimal water loss. The energy required to operate such a unit, is very minimal since there is no compressor involved. We have built several prototypes, (some more successful than others) and hope to announce the availability of a production ready unit, with the capacity to not only cool the passenger cabin, but also provide battery cooling. We have fitted 4 of the most promising prototypes, to 4 EV van type vehicles, and an addition two units to an EV community bus. The practical test data collected over this summer from these vehicles, should prove invaluable in determining the future progress of the project.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Makes sense. They put a lot of money into the Leaf program and want to get as much out of it as possible.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan put out a youtube video yesterday with Chelsea Sexton about the Leaf battery problem in which Andy Palmer indicated Nissan would keep the savings for themselves and the price would remain high for 2013. He indicated that the price would not drop until the tax rebate disappeared.
        krona2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        They might have to rethink that if they're serious about hitting their sales targets. I don't quite understand these opinions about having a cheaper model actually hurting sales, people will be more willing to put up with the range limitations the lower the total cost of ownership gets. I'm not sure the same argument applies to plugin hybrids since you there's no range consideration to factor in if you've already decided that a pure EV will not be practical.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1tfX7fRWPI
          krona2k
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Thanks - just got around to watching the video. It confirms what I said in some other thread, that the degradation is not linear. Also whilst 80% after 5 years might not look so good, 70% after 10 for a 12,500 miles per year usage is pretty good! I'm going to be doing maybe 8000 miles a year and my daily minimum requirement is 25 miles, so I think for me it's a no brainer. Anyway it's the only EV I will be able to justify financially, and I really really want to switch away from ICE!
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan's 'explanation' of the rapid capacity loss of the battery in hot climates amounts to an open admission that they wilfully and knowingly sold cars which were utterly inadequate for the use for which they were intended. So if you expect more than 37,500 miles out of the battery pack there before 20% capacity loss then you are being unreasonable?
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        @ DaveMart It's important that you retain a sense of perspective. Nissan built the Leaf as an urban commuter vehicle. The effect of the climate in Arizona on batteries, is quite well known, but even then, only a few owners have complained ! It's almost impossible to build an EV that can suit every climate, without the cost becoming prohibitive. This problem is effecting less than .003 per cent of cars sold, and although Nissan has an obligation to satisfy it's warranty terms, the problem is not helped by wild allegations, or grandstanding litigation, launched by ambulance chasing lawyers.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      " to be viable the car NEEDS around 100,000 of range down to 80%." "...what do you imagine that the value of a 4 year old Leaf would be?" It depends completely on how expensive it is to rebuild or replace the battery pack in 4 years. Also, if there is any value to a depleted Li-ion battery in a secondary market (stationary power backup). It is NOT the same as trying to sell a used car with a blown engine. Even a battery pack with 60% or less capacity could have value as a core turn in. So it completely unknown right now. If the Leaf pack can be replaced cheaply when being resold, resale value may not be so drastic. After all, with almost no other maintenance to be done, a used car buyer would be able to have more confidence. Only one thing would need replacing, rather than a bunch of unknown possible maintenance issues. The Devil you know is better... --- "any notion that Leaf owners in Arizona are going to get 8 or 10 years down to 70% is crazy." Yes, I agree, I am suggesting that the Arizona drivers are ALREADY passed the point where Nissan NEEDS TO honor the warranty. If not passed this year, next year for sure. My point was that, despite what happens in Arizona, Texas, etc... the majority of Leafs in the U.S. and the World, should still fall within reasonable loss of 80% in 5 years. --- When I said "Not for Leafs sold in America I believe" I honestly thought you were talking about something else. Because you said "downrated". You are the one who keeps bringing up the "expectations" that Nissan fostered... yet you accuse me of quibbling about it? My point is exactly what the Manual says, that it is now, and has always been... 5 years 80%. --- "trying to make cheap points about hydrogen via casting doubts on my judgement." I have long casted doubts about your judgements when it comes to believing the word of companies touting specs for a product they are hoping to sell.. and I have made many reasoned arguments over years. The reason I bring it up here, again... is to show that not everyone should be so naive to think that a Press Release is gospel. Companies exaggerate. That's a fact. GM's 230 MPG claim, Tesla's 300 mile claim, Nissan's 100 mile claim, GM's 40 Mile AER claim, etc. And that is not just mileage, not even mentioning what companies claim the cost of some future car will be. --- "Anyone who realised what the life expectancy of the Leaf battery is even in moderate climates and thought it a good buy is a fool." Being an early adopter is a gamble. The life expectancy of a Leaf in moderate climate, with moderate usage.. is expressed in the Manual. Any potential buyer could read it prior to purchase, and being an early adopter, must make guess as to how much a battery would cost in 5 years. Not necessarily a fool if they are counting on battery tech being much cheaper in the future. Leasing certainly is a better low risk, low gamble option. ---
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Joe, I used to work in a business where it was my business to know the resale value of cars. Any hint that parts may not be available or service difficult destroys their price overnight. This is not a matter of opinion, but of fact, and has nothing to do with what you assume to be my emotional position. I have seen this process several times, in, for instance, car companies which ceased production in the UK. The price of second hand models could halve overnight, even though it was clear that spares could be readily obtained for years from the scrap yards. So this does not affect any small number of Leaf motorists, as enormously accelerated depreciation will hit all of them. I suggest in future you confine yourself to examining the facts of the case, rather than speculating about my emotional commitment. Your own utter commitment to batteries as the universal solution is perhaps more likely to mislead you if we get into that territory. There is no need to guess anyway. As the policies of Nissan filter into the public consciousness, and more particularly into car dealers, it will rapidly become apparent, your wishful thinking notwithstanding, that the Leaf now has a fraction of it's previous resale value.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      DaveMart, I am not sure you watched the interview with open ears. But instead, were already outraged by your memory of a 10 year 100,000 mile claim. *I never put any stock in those claims, because I waited to see what was put in writing.. and that was an 8 year warranty for 70%, nothing more.* It is NOT that Leaf can only be warrantied in hot climates for 7500 mi/yr. They get the same warranty as the rest of the country. That is what I heard from the interview. What Palmer said, was a good explanation of Nissan's miscalculations. Nissan figured, that the average Phoenix driver would put less miles on the Leaf annually, and this should compensate for most of the degradation that the High temps would normally cause **After 5 years, average U.S. miles (12500), average U.S. temps... would yield an average of 80% capacity remaining** **While in Phoenix, after 5 years, average Phoenix miles (7500), average Phoenix temps.. would yield an average of 76% remaining.** So they knew, that even with much fewer miles driven in Phoenix, the loss would be somewhat greater. Problem is, that many drivers in Phoenix don't drive the Phoenix average, but instead drive the U.S. average. Which will, when combined with the above average heat, seriously degrades the battery faster. And yes, I agree completely that Nissan failed to explain this to the Phoenix buyers. ------------------------------------------------ "It is not a problem confined to a tiny minority of cars." Statistically, yes, it is. The only thing that actually affects the majority of the Leafs, is the fear and concern of the owner, that their battery will degrade too. "or 70% with fast charging" Andy Palmer reiterates that at most 1 fast charge per day, should not degrade the battery any faster than it would already. "their actual manual downrates this to 5 years and 60,000 miles." Not for Leafs sold in America I believe. It is NOT that Leaf can only be warrantied in hot climates for up to 7500 mi/yr. They get the same warranty as the rest of the country. There is no language in the warranty that specifies that a maximum miles driven in one geographical location or another, would be different. This is just an expectation of Nissans so they could decide whether the number of degrading Leafs would be significant enough. "and a truly lousy buy in any other climate" thousands of current Leaf owners would disagree with you.
      ronwagn
      • 2 Years Ago
      It just needs to be able to get people who can save money on gas and charge at home. That will make economic sense for many, plus you can get greenies too.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      My instinct tells me that lowering the price of the Leaf, while simultaneously lowering the quality, will not prove successful. People who don't buy a Leaf are deterred by range limitation. People who do buy a Leaf are motivated by conviction. Either way, simply making the car cheaper, but reducing the quality fixes nothing. I'm not sure that explaining to the US taxpayer that the price will be cheaper only when the US Tax credit runs out, is the most tactful strategy for Nissan to pursue ! IMHO, Nissan should use it's US plant to increase the 'Value" in the US made Volt with a heat/cold resistant battery system, improved and simpler BMS, a small station wagon version, and an increased range model. The US version, should be 'better value' version rather than a 'cheaper base model'. (OTOH, maybe there are lot's of poor Americans, with large solar panels, just waiting for the price to drop ! ). Renault/Nissan are to be congratulated for bring the Leaf, Zoe, Fluence, twizzy etc, to market. But to justify the Leaf's US existence, it needs to sell 10 times as many units in North America.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Even if it costs some of the aerodynamics, Nissan should change the look of the Leaf for the US market. They could easily double the sales if the car just had a much cooler/tough look to it. We Americans are very motivated by looks. Let's face it, we're a very shallow bunch. Cool looking = sales.
          Dave R
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          While cool looking = sales - getting the EPA range close to 100 mi will also do wonders for sales. Right now one has to keep their speed down if they want to exceed 60 miles / charge on the freeway while keeping 10-15 miles buffer. 20-30% more range will do wonders for sales.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I talk to a lot of people about PEVs, the biggest stumbling block to them is price. Range is minor issue to them - especially when they hear about PEV's low operating costs.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I talk to a lot of people about PEVs, the biggest stumbling block to them is price. Range is minor issue to them - especially when they hear about PEV's low operating costs.
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm no marketing expert but low cost could actually hurt sales. Look at the sales of the Volt compared to the Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev. When it comes to hybrids, the Prius hatchback has consistently outsold the Honda Insight by a wide margin. People are willing to pay extra for a quality product and Nissan has obviously lost it's focus on quality since Carlos Ghosn took over. It will be interesting to see how Ford Focus EV sales compare to the Leaf once Ford gets production ramped up.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        "Nissan has obviously lost it's focus on quality since Carlos Ghosn took over. " I'm pretty sure Ghosn did the opposite. Nissan really sucked before him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Ghosn
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        You've obviously not compared the two cars. The insight just sucks compared to the Prius.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2WM, What Jim is trying to say here is that by lowering the price and making the LEAF a less compelling car, Nissan is trying to copy the Honda Insight strategy. Eco cars are still mostly bought by (upper) middle class customers not needing to save a penny here or there. You start by making a compelling product. Look at the waiting list for a Model S. Even without marketing, without leases, an 8 month waiting list, and at least double the price, they rake in about as much reservations than Nissan sells LEAFs. I agree with Jim. They should make the car better, not cheaper.
          Smith Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yes, I have compared the two cars and I purchased the Honda Insight because I saved $6500 but I totally acknowledge the Prius is a better car. I thought I made it pretty clear the Prius is selling better than the less expensive Insight because the Prius is a better car. That was my point and I don't understand how you missed it. The Volt is obviously a much better car in the minds of car buyers than the Leaf or Mitsubishi i-Miev. What other explanation is there for the Volt outselling the less expensive Leaf and i-Miev? In fact, the sales of these three cars is exactly the opposite of what would be expected if people were making their purchasing decision based on MSRP alone.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        The Mitsubishi-i is a tiny weird looking EV that only carries 4 people. It has such a small battery that its range makes it a bit worrisome. The Leaf is better than the Mitz-i but still has a 73 mile range. However, the current price is a killer with the discounting from GM and the need for a charger for the Leaf, the two are essentially the same price. Volt = $39 -$2K discount = $37K. Leaf = $35K + $2K charger = $37K. With two so closely priced, the Volt is the better deal.
      noevfud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since tha NAV already sucks and is 10 years dated.
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