The new Nissan Leaf is launched in North America

While we saw a glimpse of the new Nissan Leaf in the Far East just a few months ago, the new improved vehicle Nissan Leaf has now been launched in North America. There have been a number of enhancements to the original model and the new Nissan Leaf has a journey capacity of 141 miles - a 14% increase on the original Nissan Leaf.

The company has also made a number of changes to the aerodynamics of the vehicle, the on-board charger as well as the regenerative braking system. Is this a move in the right direction and will this put Nissan Leaf sales back on the map?

Now that Nissan is producing the Leaf in it’s Smyrna, TN plant they are able to lower the cost as well.

There is a base model 2013 Leaf that will be priced around the $25K mark after government incentives, should really make some waves in the EV market since it has the brand recognition and tested and proven history of already being out for 2 years.

I did an interview with Lisa Farrar, Nissan’s Senior Planner for EV Marketing. She was a little nervous and the ambient noise level was very high, but she gives a quick rundown of the highlights. It’s YouTube video RGp2VZepHeU or you can find it by searching “Farrar” on CarNewsCafe dot com.

The biggest is, as luvevs mentioned, that the LEAF (including batteries) is now made in Tennessee. The 6.6kW on-board charger is a nice plus as well. The S trim is about $22,000 after incentives if you live in one of those states where local tax incentives are added to the federal. The average lease on the new 2013 LEAF is about $26k I was told.

Other interesting notes are that the average LEAF driver is only driving about 31 miles per day whereas Nissan estimates (through surveys) that the average potential LEAF driver (people who live in urban and suburban environs) actually drives about 29 miles per day, so the numbers are close.

Finally, probably the best improvement to the car is the moving of the on-board charger to one side so that the cargo area is flat and the hump between the cargo space and the rear seats when folded down is gone. This makes the LEAF closer to its cousin, the Versa, in terms of versatility and cargo room. Makes cargo about 30cf all told.