The 1st Nissan Leaf was sold in December 2010, which makes the model line more than 6 years old. Until very recently – when the Tesla Model S and Model X, Chevrolet Bolt and Volt and Ford Fusion Energi began cutting into its sales – the well-equipped, all-electric 5-seat hatchback was the top selling EV worldwide. Considered one of the most important cars of the 21st century, it established a high bar for all the electric vehicles that followed. More than 250,000 Leafs have been sold to date; it is by far the highest-volume pure electric ever built. Sales have dropped off with news that the Next Gen Nissan Leaf, with a range of 230+ miles to match the Bolt and Tesla models, will be out before the end of 2017, or in early 2018. That being the case, Nissan dealerships are offering excellent prices on model 2017 Leafs.
The most significant news for this year's model is that the 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack introduced for the 2016 model year is now standard on all 3 Leaf trim levels – S, SV and SL. Previously it was only available on SV and SL models. This 30kWh battery pack provides the 2017 Leaf with 107 pure electric miles. An interesting fact: by improving the cell structure of the battery pack, the 30 kWh battery is the same physical size as the previous 24 kWh battery. That's good news, as the battery pack doesn't intrude into the car's passenger and cargo spaces, staying hidden below the floor. All Leafs continue to use regenerative braking and an 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) electric motor producing 187 pound-feet of torque. Drive is to the front wheels, and the Leaf has an EPA efficiency rating of 126/101 city/highway and 112 MPGe combined.
Model S comes with a 3.6-kW onboard charger, Models SV and SL come equipped with DC fast charging ports as well. A full charge from a 240 volt Level 2 charger takes around 7 hours. Nissan's most distinctive characteristic is its unique shape – the car's inspired designers created an aero-driven body to promote energy savings. The headlamps that stick out like bug eyes do so to sweep air around the front fascia to reduce aerodynamic drag. Halogen headlights, a charge door that opens with Nissan Intelligent Key®, Push Button Start, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, heated front seats, a 5-inch color audio display, a USB Connection Port for iPod interface or other compatible devices, 16-inch wheels, automatic climate control, a rearview camera are standard on Model S. SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, the NissanConnect infotainment system and a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated exterior mirrors and a heated steering wheel. Top-of-the-line Model S offers a photovoltaic solar panel on the rear spoiler (yes, it actually does help charge the battery!), leather seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Leaf is eco-conscious: 60% of the plastic in its interior is already recycled material – much of it comes from used water bottles. 99% of the Leaf’s 3375-lb weight is recyclable. Reviewers like its relatively spacious (for an EV), ergonomically designed interior and its easy to understand controls. Edmunds reviewers say: "Few will complain about the Nissan Leaf's smooth ride and nicely shaped leather (SL only) seats. But the thing that stands out is what's nearly absent: noise. The electric motor goes about its business in silence, and there isn't much road rumble or wind noise either." The five-seater hatchback is roomy, functional and, most importantly, easy to use.
Both CURRENT EV founders chose Leafs to be their first electric vehicles and were extremely satisfied. Neither Leaf had any serious mechanical issues and more than lived up to their owner's expectations. The EV has Nissan’s highest customer satisfaction rating, beating all its other models. Over 95% of Leaf drivers are happy with their car. The Leaf’s lithium-ion batteries come with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Pricing for the 2017 Nissan Leaf starts at $31,545 for the Leaf S, the addition of the 30-kWh battery pack having pushed that model over the $30,000 barrier. The MSRP is considerably dropped by government incentives, which include a Federal tax credit of $7500 and a California State rebate of $2500. The Nissan Leaf is eligible for HOV stickers in California.
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.