Nissan Leaf’s Price Announced

Finally an announcement of price for the new Nissan Leaf. So where does it land? Just over $25,000.

Available in December, the Leaf may become a game changer in the electric vehicle market. It’s base price is actually $32,780, but it’s eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit that will drop the price of this car significantly lower than other electric vehicles. Could this force other manufacturers to lower their prices? I hope so.

So who is this vehicle right for? Well, that depends on where you drive, and how far you drive. The Leaf is only capable of 100 miles per charge, which is notable, however, for someone that does a lot of driving for their job, or travels far often, this may not be the car for them.

But for a lot of people, even if your commute is far, this car may do wonders for you. Let’s say for example you travel 50 miles to work (which I hope you don’t, that’s a long commute), now you need to make it home with a pit stop at the grocery store. Can you do it? Sure you can, because your employer, and the generous Earth loving company you work for, has seen your pro-environmental efforts and has graciously provided you with a power outlet right in front of your parking spot. That way, while your working, your car is charging (on the company’s dime too) and is at 100 percent power when you’re ready to go home.

You can reserve your Nissan Leaf starting April 20 at your local dealer. Production of this car will begin in Japan, and will come to Tennessee in 2012.

So who does this car appeal to? Anyone who wants to save money on gas, be green, and do something positive for our environment.

A price war could start as a result of the Leaf’s low price. Which is always good for consumers, but could hurt Chevy and their Volt.

The Chevy Volt, which has a higher expected base price, offers only 40 miles per charge, however, it offers a small gasoline backup engine that can produce power to keep the Volt driving indefinitely (or as long as you have gas in the tank). The Volt also charges more quickly than the Leaf, although this is mostly due to the fact that it has less than half of the electric capacity of the Leaf.

In Nissan’s favor, is the fact that they own the intellectual property to their battery technology which was developed jointly by themselves and NEC. Battery costs are set by Nissan which gives them a huge advantage over Chevy when it comes to pricing. The battery is one of the most expensive parts of the car.

Nissan can afford to intentionally lose money just to establish themselves as the leader in full electric vehicle technology.

For those people with a quick work commute, or with a second gasoline powered or hybrid car, Chevy will have to compete hard for their business. People in those situations don’t have to worry that they may be left stranded with no power to get them home in a car like the Leaf.

Don’t worry about being stranded for long though. With electric vehicle popularity increasing, and people making the switch, charging stations are likely to pop up all over. Restaurants, shopping centers, schools, even gas stations, may soon sprout charging stations to get you power when you need it, as quickly as you can get it.

Expect the Nissan Leaf to launch in major cities this year, and nationwide in 2011. The Volt? We’re still not sure, and pricing has still not been set. Chevy seems to be falling behind with the Volt, and may have made a error with it’s slow pricing and slow release since its long ago debut.

What will happen, we can only wait and see, but what is clear, is that automakers are finally stepping up to the plate, finally acknowledging the need for green technology, and finally making it happen. Many thanks to the companies taking the initiative to combat climate change and many thanks to Nissan and Chevy for making the attempt to get out there and do it first and affordably.

Via: Yahoo!

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