Nissan has just announced pricing for their upcoming 62kWh Leaf Plus model, which will be available in the US starting later this month.
The starting price comes in just around the expected level, at $36,550. The Leaf SV Plus will be $38,510, and the top trim, the Leaf SL Plus, is priced at $42,550.
Nissan’s price announcement is not unexpected, as stated in our first drive review we expected it to be very close to the starting price of the Chevy Bolt. Nissan came in even closer than we expected, though – the Leaf starts at just $70 less than the Bolt does.
Comparing to other trims, the Bolt “Premier” is $41,895, so the Leaf SL Plus is a little more expensive than that, though the available options aren’t exactly the same. Essentially, these two cars are about the same price through the various option levels.
All Leaf Plus models will cost an additional $895 for destination and handling – comparable to the destination charges for other competing vehicles.
Here are the options included with the various trim levels of the Leaf Plus:
We knew this news had to come soon – the car is hitting dealerships this month after all, and we just drove it last week.
But one can’t help but think that this announcement could have been affected by yesterday’s news of the standard Model 3 being available for $35k. This is a big change, since the standard Model 3 is available much earlier than we expected, and it’s certainly thrown a wrench into Nissan’s plans here.
At our test drive event, Nissan shared a slide showing their competition:
They clearly considered the Bolt, Kona and Model 3 as the direct competition for the Nissan Leaf Plus, and have priced it accordingly.
But that slide is now outdated – while the Model 3 used to start at $42k, it now starts at $35k, and that base model should be available at the end of this month, around the same time as the Leaf Plus.
While we enjoyed driving the Leaf Plus and found it a great daily driver and a very comfortable car, we also love the Model 3. We have yet to drive (or even see) the interior of the standard Model 3, or the “partial premium” interior available for $37k (still in the realm of Leaf Plus/Bolt pricing), but it’s hard to imagine it will be bad enough to make the Model 3 less exciting.
Given that the range of 220 miles fits into the same category as the Leaf Plus, there will certainly be people cross-shopping the Leaf Plus against the Model 3. And the Leaf Plus may be a hard sell against the more-exciting Model 3. I can still see people who value a comfortable ride, a more traditional experience (who nevertheless are buying an EV?), who want front-wheel drive, or Nissan loyalists going with the Leaf Plus, and they should feel justified in doing so because it’s a perfectly fine car.
It’s just not quite as exciting as the Model 3 – except for vehicle-to-grid applications through Fermata/Nissan Energy, which is a very interesting capability the Leaf has and the Model 3 does not. So we can add fleet buyers as another category who would prefer the Leaf.
Finally, Tesla hasn’t seen fit to offer Model 3 leases yet, so lease buyers will have an easier time getting into a Leaf Plus.
The other saving grace for Nissan is that they still have a larger tax credit available than Tesla does, and Chevy will be running out of theirs soon as well. So the Nissan will remain less expensive for at least the first ~70k units in the US, for buyers who can qualify for that tax credit – unless that changes. After that, it’s up to Nissan to offer dealer incentives to make the price more competitive, as Chevy occasionally does with the Bolt, and as Tesla so far does not do.
But again, as I mentioned in our review: Nissan shouldn’t be targeting only the Bolt, Kona and Model 3. That is, unfortunately, still a limited market. What’s a much larger market are all the Camry, Corolla and Civic buyers out there. The Leaf Plus, being an EV that’s fun to drive, cheap and convenient to fuel at home, reliable easy to maintain, efficient and good for the environment, comfortable and well-appointed-enough, offers a stellar value proposition compared to traditional ICE vehicles.
And Nissan, with their worldwide sales reach and dealership presence, and advertising budget to boot, can continue to sell the world’s best-selling EV to a wide audience that may still be skeptical of the upstart Tesla.
Those of us who are jumping into the current trends of the auto industry with both feet may be fine with the excitement and attendant occasional annoyances of being a Tesla customer, but people moving from ICE to their first EV might prefer a more traditional and reliable experience. For those, the Nissan Leaf Plus will offer a strong value proposition.
So Nissan (and all automakers for that matter): don’t just consider the Bolt, Kona and Model 3 as your competition. Your car is better than an ICE, so sell it to them. It’ll help the environment more anyway to convert gas buyers to electric than just to fight over the scraps at the still-smaller-than-it-should-be EV table.
What do you think about this pricing announcement? Let us know in the comments below. And view Nissan’s full press release here:
Maker of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle announces pricing for the new longer-range Nissan LEAF PLUS
- LEAF S PLUS starting price is $36,550 with up to 226 miles of range
- The Nissan LEAF, with the 40kWh battery and up to 150 miles of range, is available at a starting price of under $30,000
- Nissan continues to offer 8-year/100,000 mile warranty on lithium-ion batterypack which also includes battery capacity loss protection for the customer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 1, 2019) – The new Nissan LEAF PLUS pricing starts at $36,550 and goes on sale at Nissan retailers nationwide this month.
The “PLUS” designation refers to the increased energy density of the model’s 62 kWhbattery pack and the higher 214-horsepower output of its powertrain versus the 40 kWh option.
The new Nissan LEAF S PLUS powertrain adds to the car’s range by approximately 50percent with an EPA range of up to 226 miles2 (versus the standard 2019 Nissan LEAF 150 mile range3), ensuring that there’s a Nissan LEAF to meet the drivingneeds of a wider range of customers.
The new powertrain also allows faster acceleration when driving at high speeds. Accelerating nearly 13 percent quicker than the standard Nissan LEAF. In addition, thanks to a standard new 100kW capacity quick charging system, the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS can charge more efficiently.
“With the addition of LEAF PLUS, the Nissan LEAF is now available with two battery options and a choice of six trim levels – each featuring the many advancedtechnologies offered under the banner of Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” said Brian Marango, director, EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices1 (MSRP) for the 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS are:
LEAF S PLUS
LEAF SV PLUS
LEAF SL PLUS
*Destination and Handling $895 USD
The Nissan LEAF embodies Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision forchanging how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. The three key aspects of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, exemplified by the 2019 Nissan LEAF, are Nissan Intelligent Driving, Nissan Intelligent Power and Nissan Intelligent Integration.
Offering a dynamic design and advanced technologies such as ProPILOT Assist and ePedal, the LEAF PLUS also features standard Rear Door Alert (RDA), a system that can help remind customers of items that may be forgotten in the rear seat.
There are also subtle clues to the LEAF’s PLUS designation, including a revised front fascia with blue highlights and an e+ logo plate on the underside of the charge port lid. Also included is rear trim level badges designating the grade levels as S PLUS, SV PLUS and SL PLUS.
Boasting a spacious, highly functional interior with a quality, high-tech feel, the combination of premium materials throughout the cabin befits a luxury vehicle. Vibrant blue contrast stitching for the steering wheel, seats and instrument panel accentuate the car as a Nissan electric vehicle.
The cabin’s interior dimensions comfortably accommodate five people, while the rearcargo area is designed to provide ample luggage space, offering 23.6 cubic feet of available stowage. It also allows for easy charging cable storage.
Every 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS is offered with a limited warranty4 covering defects in materials or workmanship for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, for the lithium-ion battery pack. Nissan also provides a limited warranty againstbattery capacity loss below nine bars of capacity as shown on the vehicle’s batterycapacity level gauge for the first eight years or 100,000 miles for all models.
The 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS is offered in three well-equipped grade levels: S PLUS, SV PLUS and SL PLUS. The 2019 Nissan LEAF is also available in three 40 kWh grades – S, SV and SL.
The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in the world with more than 390,000 global sales and over 130,000 U.S. sales since its 2010 debut.
For more information on the 2019 LEAF and the complete Nissan vehicle lineup, please visit NissanNews.com.
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