If you’re a new subscriber to my personal finance blog, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing an article on a brand new car.
Well…I’m all about paying down debt and saving money, but I’m also passionate about environmentally friendly ideas and products that are coming down the pipeline! Today I’d like to introduce you to the Nissan Leaf, a car destined to become the first mass produced all electric vehicle in the United States.
I have to admit I was caught off guard when I saw an advertisement for the Nissan Leaf on my own website! Over the last few years there has been a lot of hype over “environmentally friendly” cars like the Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, and even the Tesla Roadster, but virtually nothing has been made of the “electric drive” Nissan Leaf.
Some people claim “Leaf” is actually an acronym for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family Car, but I was unable to confirm this on Nissan’s website. Regardless, the car has virtually appeared out of nowhere and seems to be taking the automotive world by storm.
When Will the Nissan Leaf be Available to Purchase:
Scheduled to hit dealer showrooms in limited production by the end of the year (full production is expected by 2012), the Nissan Leaf promises to fill the void as an economical and practical alternative to combustion engined automobiles.
What is the Range of the Nissan Leaf:
The car is driven by a single 110 horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels with power supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack. Nissan claims the car’s range is about 100 miles per charge in “city” mode, but many critics argue the actual highway range will be much less due to its “boxy” design (more air drag at higher speeds).
How Long Does it Take to Charge a Nissan Leaf:
The Nissan Leaf can be fully charged in about 6-8 hours if your home has a 220-volt service line. Nissan dealerships will arrange to have each customer’s home or apartment complex evaluated to ensure they have a suitable power source to effectively recharge the car.
Additionally, Nissan is working with the US Government ( as well as other countries) to establish 440-volt recharging stations in select markets which will enable the car to be recharged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes or less.
I Thought You Only Buy Used Cars:
I’ve made it very clear on my blog that I am a big fan of buying used cars to save money, but if you have the means, this car may be a perfectly viable option for your family! But don’t expect any deals on Leaf.
The biggest drawback I see with the Nissan Leaf is its limited range. It would be ideal for small families living within close proximity to work, their kid’s schools, and shopping areas, but its 100 mile city range (and presumably less highway range) creates apprehension for some prospective buyers.
The Leaf would be perfect for someone living just outside of the city with a short commute to work, but I don’t know if it would have enough juice to get me back and forth to work. –Greg B.
I can tell you this much, I will not be buying a Nissan Leaf anytime soon. Not because I don’t believe in them, but paying down my mortgage is a higher priority at this point in my family’s life.
How Much Will the Nissan Leaf Cost:
As of this writing, Nissan has not announced the MSRP of the Leaf. I was able to get in contact with one of their marketing representatives while researching this article but all she could tell me was:
The Nissan Leaf will be competitively priced with the average midsized family sedan.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the base model Nissan Leaf priced just inside of $30,000.
How to Pre-Order a Nissan Leaf:
Nissan is expected to begin pre-registering up to 50,000 prospective buyers as early as April. Demand will be high and don’t be surprised if you see dealers selling cars over their MSRPs (remember the Prius)!
If you are interested in pre-registering for the opportunity to order the first Nissan Leaf in your town simply register with Nissan by clicking here!
Otherwise, you can hang back with me and purchase a used one a few years down the road!
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