Although sales of the Nissan LEAF remain under 1,000 units per month, some of the reason for this has been a simple lack of availability. The 2011 model launched in just a handful of markets—Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington—and even though the ordering process was opened up in a number of other locations this summer, deliveries of the 2012 Leaf are just beginning. And also just beginning is the ordering process for the Leaf in seven more states.
Nissan recently started taking orders from the general public in Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, after initiating the process at the end of July in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York. At this stage, the Leaf can be ordered in 30 different states, as well as Washington, D.C.
As a refresher, the 2012 Leaf also brings some new standard content for the new model year. All models now feature equipment designed to enhance the Leaf experience in cold-weather driving, including a battery warmer, heated steering wheel, and heated front and rear seats. In addition, the Leaf SL has gained DC “fast charge” capability, allowing owners to recharge the car’s batteries from a fully depleted state to 80 percent of capacity in under 30 minutes when using a 480-volt DC charger. On the other hand, the new equipment also brings new—and significantly higher—MSRPs. The base Leaf SV moves from a starting point of $32,780 up to $35,200, representing an increase of $2,420, while the Leaf SL endures a $3,530 jump to $37,250.
Note: The Leaf still qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit and some local incentives are available as well.
Lease prices start at what Nissan terms a “competitive” $369 per month.
Unchanged for the new model year are Leaf’s EPA ratings of 106 MPGe city/92 MPGe highway/32 MPGe combined, with a driving range of 73 miles. For those who prefer to measure by kw-hrs per 100 miles, the relevant figures for the car are 32 city/37 highway/34 combined. And remember, here, the smaller the numbers, the better, with the Leaf’s performance comparing to marks of 27/34/30 for the Mitsubishi i, and 36/37/36 for both the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid when those two are under electric power.
The Nissan Leaf should be on sale nationwide by March of 2012.
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