For 2012, the Nissan Leaf mid-size electric will receive some minor upgrades and a healthy bump in price.
Moving into its second model year, Nissan's groundbreaking hatchback will not receive any significant modifications to its exterior or powertrain. However, the decision to make standard the cold weather package – consisting of a battery heater, heated outside mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and an HVAC duct to the rear seating area – and the addition of a quick-charge port as standard equipment (previously offered as a $700 option) on the uplevel SL model, means that pricing for the 2012 Leaf has increased.
Nissan has set the MSRP of the base 2012 Leaf SV at $35,200 (plus an $820 destination charge) and the uplevel SL at $37,250. That's a healthy step up from the $32,780 price tag on the 2011 Leaf SV and the $33,720 MSRP of the SL version. Of course, the $7,500 federal tax credit still applies for 2012 model year Leafs, meaning the base SV model's after-credit cost is $27,700. Nissan says a three-year lease on a 2012 Leaf rings in at a "highly competitive" $379 a month, a modest $30 bump over the lease rate for a 2011 model.
Here's an in-depth explanation of the complex rollout process for the 2012 Leaf: Beginning on July 25, Nissan will open up the 2012 Leaf ordering process to consumers with existing reservations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Then, on August 4, Nissan will reopen the reservation process to the general public in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and all of the aforementioned states listed above. Later this fall, Nissan will begin accepting orders for the 2012 Leaf from residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Sometime after that, Nissan will open up the process for buyers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada and Ohio. Nissan says deliveries of the first batch of 2012 Leafs will begin this fall.
Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL
Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to U.S. consumers for the 2012 model year, with upgrades based on feedback from the thousands of owners who already have driven several millions of miles in the first 100-percent electric car for the mass market.
The Nissan LEAF, enriched with additional standard equipment including quick charging and cold-weather features for the 2012 model year, now will be available for order in the Southeastern United States and Illinois.
"Many enthusiastic consumers have eagerly anticipated ordering a Nissan LEAF of their own, and now we can make zero-emissions mobility a reality in more markets," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America. "In response to direct feedback from Nissan LEAF owners, the features that customers want most will come standard on the 2012 Nissan LEAF – including quick charging and cold-weather features."
Nissan on July 25 will open up the ordering process to consumers with existing reservations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
After the prioritized ordering phase for existing reservations in those markets, Nissan on Aug. 4 will open new reservations and orders to the general public, both in these new markets, as well as places where the Nissan LEAF already has been on sale (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington). Expected delivery of the first 2012 Nissan LEAFs will begin in the fall.
The MY12 vehicle features product enhancements that incorporate feedback from early LEAF drivers, including standardizing the most popular options. These features include:
DC Fast Charge capability standard on Nissan LEAF SL: The vast majority of MY11 consumers have opted for the DC fast charge port, which allows the vehicle to be charged at 480V – reducing charging time to under 30 minutes for charging the vehicle to 80 percent from a fully depleted state. As DC fast charge stations proliferate across the country, Nissan expects this feature to become even more popular. For 2012, fast-charging capability will be standard on the SL trim level.
Cold weather features standard on Nissan LEAF: As the Nissan LEAF rolls out to U.S. markets with colder climates, cold weather features become standard equipment on all trim levels of the Nissan LEAF. These include a battery warmer, heated steering wheel, and heated seats in both the front and rear.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the 2012 Nissan LEAF is $35,200 for the SV trim level, and $37,250 for the SL trim level. The monthly lease price will begin at a highly competitive $369.
Nissan will expand into additional new markets as the year continues. In the fall, orders from existing reservations and new reservations will begin in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By the end of the year, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will be added as markets where the Nissan LEAF will be available for order.
More than 4,000 Nissan LEAFs have been delivered to U.S. customers, and Nissan, as it begins the next phase of the launch, continues to learn from them. While 82 percent have never previously owned a Nissan, a full 75 percent considered no other vehicle than the Nissan LEAF in their purchase decision. On a whole, these early adopters report that they are using the Nissan LEAF as their primary car, and driving it far more than was originally anticipated. These consumers, most of whom are highly educated and have high income levels, are technologically savvy, environmentally conscious, and consider themselves advocates for electric-car technology.
About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. 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/.