You know you’ve had a tough year when you’ve been outsold by the Chevy Volt by a ratio of 2:1, and that’s exactly the situation in which the 2013 Nissan LEAF finds itself. In 2012, the former notched 23,461 sales and a growth rate in excess of 205 percent, while the latter finished with 9,819 deliveries that represented an advance of just 1.5 percent. Needless to say, those kinds of results weren’t what Nissan had in mind when it kick-started the current EV revolution, so the automaker is upgrading the 2013 Nissan LEAF family by addressing three key concerns for customers: Range, price and charging speeds. (As you might expect the first is going up and the second two are coming down.)
The party line from Al Castignetti, the Nissan division’s vice president and general manager: "The refinements and enhancements for 2013 hit at the core of customer requests during LEAF's first two years—available features providing quicker charging, improved range expectations and the ability to fine-tune the equipment levels to exact owner needs, whether they desire fewer standard features for an even more affordable car or more luxury amenities like leather-appointed seating and premium audio."
In addition—and probably helping to reduce the EV’s MSRP—both the 2013 Nissan LEAF and its innovative lithium-ion battery packs are now being built here in the United States, at the company’s manufacturing facility located in Smyrna, Tenn.