In a roundtable interview today at the North American International Auto Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced a $6,400 price drop for the base-model 2013 Nissan Leaf. Last year's base model was $35,200, while the new base-level 2013 Leaf S starts at $28,800. Ghosn says the new prices make the Leaf the least expensive five-seater electric for sale in the US.

Some of the lower cost is due to a difference in content from last year's low-end model to this year's. But a sizable portion can be chalked up to the Leaf's production moving from Japan to Tennessee. The 2013 Leaf is not only assembled in the US now, but its lithium-ion batteries and the car's electric motors are manufactured in the same southern state.

The Leaf SV will be priced from $31,820 for 2013 compared to $35,200 last year. The high-end Leaf SL now starts at $34,840, down from the 2012 model's $37,250. These models also have differences in content. One big one is a new 6.6-kWh charger that reduces charging times pretty dramatically.

All 2013 prices will have an $850 destination fee added, but the cars will still qualify for a $7,500 federal income tax credit in addition to various state and local incentives.
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Nissan Brings New, U.S.-Assembled 2013 LEAF to Market with Major Price Reduction
  • Addition of a new LEAF S trim level lowers entry price by more than $6,000, or 18 percent
  • Available federal and state incentives can bring price down to less than $19,000
  • Improved energy efficiency, faster charging times and greater customer choice headline 2013 model year improvements
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Nissan has announced that U.S. pricing for the new 2013 Nissan LEAF will start at an MSRP of $28,800 for the newly-added S grade, making it the lowest priced five-passenger electric vehicle sold in the United States. Depending on location, some consumers may purchase the vehicle for as low as $18,800 with qualifying federal and state tax credits, putting the LEAF on par with gas-powered vehicles of its size.

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 with increased value at every trim level, making it more accessible for more people.

"With nearly 50,000 LEAFs on the road globally, we are the leaders in zero emissions vehicles and our class-leading product just got better," said Billy Hayes, Global vice president of LEAF sales for Nissan. "From the very outset, Nissan has continuously advanced and refined the affordable zero emissions vehicle ownership experience. Now customers won't have to pay a premium for owning a green car that's really fun to drive, and that's exciting."

Nissan recently began U.S. assembly of the 2013 Nissan LEAF at its manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tenn., a localization initiative that further drives efficiencies by leveraging already-existing equipment and processes while also reducing exposure to fluctuations in foreign currency. The battery packs that power LEAF are built in an adjacent facility in Smyrna while the vehicle's electric motor comes from Nissan's powertrain plant in Decherd, Tenn., further supporting efficient manufacturing.

Eligible consumers can take advantage of a $7,500 federal tax credit, and some states and municipalities offer additional incentives. For example, California residents can get a 2013 Nissan LEAF for as low as $18,800 after the federal tax credit and state rebate of $2,500.

Nissan will also continue its lease offer for the 2013 LEAF, allowing consumers to lease the electric vehicle for as low as $199 per month for 36 months, which includes tax credits and destination charges.

Additions to the 2013 LEAF include: 17-inch alloy wheels and leather appointed interior on SL models, available Around View® Monitor and 7-speaker Bose® energy efficient audio system and a 6.6 kW onboard charger that significantly reduces 220V charging times and is standard on SV and SL models.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices* (MSRP) for the 2013 Nissan LEAF:

Model MSRP*
LEAF S $28,800 USD
LEAF SV $31,820 USD
LEAF SL $34,840 USD

About the 2013 Nissan LEAF
Now in its third model year, the Nissan LEAF is the world's best-selling pure electric vehicle with nearly 50,000 cumulative sales worldwide. For 2013, the LEAF features numerous customer-focused upgrades. LEAF is powered by a responsive 80kW AC synchronous motor produced at Nissan's Powertrain Assembly plant in Decherd, Tenn. The 2013 LEAF's output is 107 horsepower, with 187 lb-ft. of torque. Energy is supplied by an advanced 48-module lithium-ion battery made at the new battery plant in Smyrna, Tenn.

The 2013 Nissan LEAF is offered in three well-equipped models, the LEAF S, LEAF SV and LEAF SL. Standard features include 6-way manual driver's seat, 4-way manual front passenger's seat, trip computer (instant and average energy consumption, driving time, outside temperature and autonomy range), Automatic Temperature Control (ATC), center console storage and 3.6 kW onboard charger. Other standard equipment includes Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, power windows with driver's window one-touch auto up/down, power door locks with auto locking feature, remote charge door release, variable intermittent windshield wipers, AM/FM/CD with MP3 playback capability and a 12-volt power outlet.

LEAF SV models are upgraded to 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a 6.6 kW onboard charger, cruise control, auto dimming rear view mirror, energy saving hybrid heating system, an upgraded 6-speaker sound system, 7-inch color LCD display, Pandora® link for iPhone users, Nissan Navigation system with CARWINGS telematics and B-mode setting for increased regenerative braking. At an MSRP of $31,820, the 2013 LEAF SV represents a $3,380 savings over a similar 2012 model.

LEAF SL adds leather-appointed seats, 17-inch five spoke alloy wheels, DC 480V fast charge port, automatic on/off LED headlights, fog lights, photovoltaic solar panel rear spoiler and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver. At an MSRP of $34,840, the 2013 LEAF SL represents a $2,410 savings over a similar 2012 model.

Incremental aerodynamic and energy management improvements are expected to give the 2013 LEAF improved range** over previous model years. Final range estimates for the 2013 Nissan LEAF are awaiting EPA test cycle verification.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($118.95 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 and 2011 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information about Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.Infiniti.com.

With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

# # #

* MSRP excludes applicable tax, title, license fees and destination charges. Dealer sets actual price. Prices and specs are subject to change without notice.

**Charging times and range estimates may vary depending on driving/charging habits, weather, temperature and battery age. A 6.6W onboard charger is a standard feature on SV and SL trims, and optional feature on the S trim.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 214 Comments
      Shawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not a fan of the appearance, but these cars becoming more affordable is good for everyone.
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, much bigger cut than I expected. And it's an across-the-board cut. I guess a couple Leaf naysayers have to eat their hat since they said such a cut was impossible in a previous article. The lower price should definitely help sales (even better than the year end incentives did).
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JakeY
        Yeah, I didn't think they would cut it this much. I guessed around $32K. I'm very glad to be wrong!
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      This I guess this is the end of the Mitusbishi I-Miev? With the $6000 price reduction for the Leaf, the Mitsu no longer has a mission in life.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        They could try to fight back by increasing the battery size and dropping the price. But they'll probably give up because they can't compete with Nissan USA based plant.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Clearly many Americans prefer large cars but there is a large and growing small car market here in the USA. The Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 have both been pretty successful. I don't think size is the problem with the Mitsubishi-i. I think its small battery size and very unconventional looks have caused it to do poorly.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Americans may say they like them, at least on sites like this, but they don't buy small cars in great numbers, which is why the majors often only send their bigger models. And a small electric car........
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        The Mitsu, like all their products, never had a mission.
        garylai
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Nissan is really the only major automaker really serious about pure EVs right now (discounting Tesla now because unless they get over their cashflow problem they won't be around for much longer). Everyone else is just dabbling in compliance cars and issuing press releases. Nissan has made the big investment and are the ones to beat for EVs. Maybe Tesla Bluestar will give them big competition in the affordable pure EV market in 2015.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      almost to that magic $20k price point. At a certain point, fleet buyers may do the math and find this economical. Then the market explodes.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Speaking of fleets, the Post Office needs to start buying EVs. No pollution, cheap electricity, limited distance routes, central charging point, good for start & stop driving, quiet, save on fuel, no CO2 emissions, etc.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Volume fleet buyers can probably negotiate enough discount to put the price under $20K for the Leaf S.
          TurboFroggy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          I disagree. The Leaf is 1/2 the cost per mile as a Prius, 1/10th the cost per mile as a typical small delivery fan/truck. This savings would add up very quickly not only in fuel but in maintenance as well. A 2013 with a 6KW charger could easily do 200 miles a day just on standard 6.6KW charging, most delivery routes don't cover that distance.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          I don't think Nissan is going to give a $9K discount for a fleet buyer. And if the volume business was that valuable ( it's not), then they would also give that discount for ICE vehicles as well. The pure economic argument just isn't there quite yet, especially without the tax credit.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          Nobody is replacing a small delivery van/truck with a leaf. You're replacing a Ford Fiesta/Hyundai Accent with a Leaf. We're talking meter maids in downtown areas, water meter readers and possible light mail delivery. And it's not 1/10th the cost of an ICE, it's around 1/3 the cost per mile (around .10 versus .035). Your break even point is over 100K miles when comparing it to a $14K Fiesta. And then you have to consider the fact that you have to kick in that $7000 up front in the Leaf. And you have to worry about batttery degradation after 60K miles and the associated loss in resale value. And of course this is INCLUDING the income tax credit which fleet buyers won't even be eligible for. When you factor everything in, it's hard to make an argument for it purely on economics.
      Rob J
      • 1 Year Ago
      It startles me how much better it looks in that grey colour. The only I see are that rather heinous blue.
      HVH20
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome! That beats my $29,995 guestimate.
      Tiger_Pork
      • 1 Year Ago
      when is the Volt getting a price drop?
        Ziv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tiger_Pork
        The Volt is already selling at $3k less than MSRP at dealers that sell Volts in decent numbers so I would bet that we will see the 2014MY Volt come out with a $36k MSRP. So it will have dropped $5k or 13% from the original price, and about double that from the gouging prices Chevy charged for the first 6 months the Volt was being produced. Chevy needs to drop the MSRP soon, but even more importantly, they need to build the inventory up above the 5 weeks worth they have held it to for so long.
      benzaholic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting that the switch to US production provides that much in cost savings.
        Rob J
        • 1 Year Ago
        @benzaholic
        A combination of the strong Yen, shipping costs, tariff costs and the lower paid workers in the south.
          Basil Exposition
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rob J
          "lower paid workers in the south" Nice try. Workers in the south earn as much as those in the north.
          Rob J
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rob J
          Besides that being a half true statement. I was referring to Japanese-American wages.
          Rob J
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rob J
          Some information to back up my claim: http://www.accuval.net/insights/featuredarticle/detail.php?ID=41 Benefits are the big deal when it comes to domestic wages. The fact that the south has a younger workforce who are less interested in their pension/healthcare coverage will not last forever.
        Spiffster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @benzaholic
        Yen to dollar exchange rate advantage? I assume... but am too lazy to check.
      Jonathon C Gable
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd rather have the volt myself, but it looks like Nissan just threw down the gauntlet.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jonathon C Gable
        Both cars are very nice. If you can only have 1 car, the Volt makes more sense for most. However, a pure EV is great if you have 2 cars. Use the pure EV to commute back & forth to work and use the gas car for long trips and other situations wherein the pure EV does not work well.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      It wasn't already the cheapest 5 seat EV in the US? What is the other 5-seat EV in the US that cost less? Coda?
      brgtlm
      • 1 Year Ago
      It certainly does suck for earlier buyers and resale values. However, it might help overall sluggish sales since it will not start below $30K and if you add in the tax credit it gets better. It also allows you into the carpool lane in some places so that's an added bonus.
        carboy55
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brgtlm
        When I bought my 55 inch plasma for $1,200 a few years ago and saw them selling at Christmas for just over half that, my first thoughts weren't that I was being ripped off. Why is it so hard for "car guys" to realize this is an emerging technology? Get the grease out from under your nails, Grog.
          Ben
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carboy55
          I can't believe a 55 inch plasma still worth $600.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @carboy55
          I can't believe we can get 55 inch flat panel TVs that cheap! You try building one! Most of the TV makers have been losing lots of money because of over-capacity.
      garylai
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder what this means for the future of 480V DC fast charge (CHAdeMO)? Now that the Leaf has a 6.6 kW charger making fast charge less comparably fast, and only the high-end SL will have it as standard equipment, will this mean the already rare DC fast charge station will become no more common than it is today? I hope not, long trips with the Leaf are feasibly only with CHAdeMO.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @garylai
        I still keep hoping that Nissan would just adopt the SAE Combo-plug and be the first company to put out large numbers of SAE-Combo compatible cars. They could single-handedly stop a stupid standards war from happening. Perhaps they could negotiate with the DoE to switch to the SAE Combo plug if the DoE promises to install X number of SAE fast-chargers.
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