2013 Nissan LEAF: $199 Lease Details, Sale Date For Canada, More Battery Production In The US

JAN 17 2013 BY JAY COLE 20

2013 Nissan LEAF Lease From $199 (SL Shown)

Unlike previous years, electric vehicles were clearly not the focus of the 2013 NAIAS show in Detroit this week.

2014 Corvette Stingray – Not A Particularly Green Car

The main story of the 2013 NAIAS was of course, the new 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray. While somewhere, way (way, way) down the list was the debut of the new 2013 Nissan LEAF; which if we are being honest, to the casual car aficionado looks and feels pretty much the same as the 2012 model.

However, to those of us closely following cars with plugs, what was important about the new LEAF wasn’t really the car, it was the price.

Now starting at $28,800 for the entry level S model ($6,400 cheaper than the 2012 SV), this new price point gives pure electric vehicles a second crack at the market after a fairly dismal 2012.

And while we got a lot of answers about the vehicle we had been anticipating, a lot of other questions popped up (at least in our mind), and we have run down some new information in hopes to fill in some of the blanks.

2013 Nissan LEAF (S Model), Available From $28,800 or $199/month

2013 Nissan LEAF $199 Lease Deal

Inside the press release touting the new entry level’s sub 30K price was this statement:

“Nissan will also continue its lease offer for the 2013 LEAF, allowing consumers to lease the electric vehicle (S model) for as low as $199 per month for 36 months, which includes tax credits and destination charges.”

…which is great news.  A capable, mid-size electric car available from $199 is an unheard of price point right out of the gate, and should move lots of metal.  However, anyone considering getting into a LEAF wants to know what the fine-print is.  As in, what the heck is the down payment?

We ran down a Nissan exec and he told us “$1,999“, which isn’t too shabby a proposition considering the price of gas these days.

Also, looking at the new pricing of the trim levels (S, SV, SL) it occurs to us that the Nissan executive have structured (and equipped) the new LEAF lineup in consideration that the vast majority of LEAF drivers lease the vehicle.

The SV ($31,820) checks in at $3,020 more than the S, and the top-of-the-line SL ($34,840) at the exact same $3,020 more than the SV, which is clearly designed (at least to us) so that their lease offers will initially come out to be:

  • $199 for the S
  •  $249 for the SV
  •  $299 for the SL


2013 Nissan LEAF In Canada

Canada To Wait A Little Longer For The 2013 LEAF

Holy cow.  We either have a multitude of Canadians reading the site, or you guys are nothing like your national image…and are in fact, a really vocal, outspoken people.

We recevied so many emails asking about the pricing and availability in Canada.  (I confess that may be my own fault after I decided to run an article or two on the $6000 to $8,100 discounts on 2012 inventory for our neighbors to the north)

Anyway, we decided to place a call (and email) to Nissan’s Canadian reps to ‘shake the tree’ a little.  Ironically, we were met with automated messages of “I will get back to you as soon as I can, I am at the NAIAS in Detroit”.   Go figure.

As for pricing, we got the exact same generic message as was received for the US in December by Nissan America Rep Travis Parman, “Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date”, which we immediately assumed at the time meant Nissan was waiting until the NAIAS this week to reveal.

Using the same ‘auto manufacturer press release decoder ring’, we will go out on a limb again and say it will be released at the Canadian Auto Show in Toronto in 28 days (February 15th).  Book it.

Unfortunately for Canadians, while the 2013 LEAF is expected to start hitting select US showrooms the first week of February, in Canada it is going to be more like April-June, as Jennifer McCarthy, who works on Nissan Canada’s “PR team”, says the new 2013s are “scheduled for spring 2013.”



Nissan’s Smryna Battery Assembly Plant Plans

Largest Lithium-Ion Automotive Battery Plant In The U.S

By now, most of us know the talking points about US LEAF production from a couple years ago.  Nissan’s Smyrna assembly plant can assemble up to 150,000 LEAFs in one year, and their nearby battery plant can produce 200,000 LEAF-sized packs in the same time.

We also know that Nissan has way too much capacity online now as they only sold 10,000 LEAFs last year in the US.  Even a $6,400 price drop isn’t going to come anywhere near close enough to bridge that gap.

And although the assembly facility can produce other vehicles to pick up the slack, Nissan’s massive $1.7 billion dollar battery plant can’t exactly start building Nissan Rogues and Infiniti Q50s to offset lower than expected demand lithium battery demand.

What to do?  Build batteries and related components for other hybrids and EVs.

Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive VP put it best in Detroit on Monday to Bloomberg news, “It’s a damned expensive plant, so we want to use it as much as possible.  You’ll start to see front-wheel drive hybridized vehicles coming in the next one to two years.”  A Pathfinder and Altima hybrid are apparently in the works, and Smyrna will outfit those models.

Nissan NV200 On The Line In Barcelona

More interestingly however, is that Smyrna will be producing parts and batteries for Nissan’s upcoming electric van, the e-NV200, which will be put into production in Barcelona, Spain later this spring.

Additionally, Mr. Palmer confirmed US-based production of the Infiniti LE for the first time, by adding that batteries will also be build for that project at the Tennessee plant.  It is worth noting, that at the debut of the plant, a good bulk of the plant was off limits/”no access” to the media, which could mean the ramp up to production of Nissan’s 2nd generation of lithium packs are already underway.


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20 Comments on "2013 Nissan LEAF: $199 Lease Details, Sale Date For Canada, More Battery Production In The US"

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This is getting interesting now. This (massive) price reduction on the Leafs (Leaves?) will be interesting to see how it plays out with consumers. The lease deals are low. If Nissan can’t move the metal now…they may quickly be running out of excuses.

Did I read that right?…”a Pathfinder and Altima hybrid are apparently in the works…” Is there any more info. on these? I’m wondering if they are implying mild-hybrids for these cars, or full hybrids?

Hey we are a EV site, not a hybrid site…I can’t talk about these projects.

Actually the “Pathfinder concept” is at the NAIAS show right now. No secret I don’t think it is basically the new production version for the fall. Both this and the Altima hybrid will likely using something along the lines of Nissan’s new 2.5L supercharged/lithium hybrid system. Output just under 300 hp, CVT transmission, etc.

Disclaimer: you should really fact check what I just said, because I didn’t, I just pulled that out from some recess in my head from something I heard at somepoint, lol

LOL! I thought if it’s on the internet, it has to be true!

I like their new Pathfinder, and it’s already class-leading in fuel economy. So add the hybrid stuff and what have you got…30-ish mpg? Not bad.

In my area of SE PA with very limited public plugs, they’re selling. I saw two powder blue leafs on the road within 1 mile of each other. Sadly, it looks like they suffer from window fogging as our 32*F day and the Leaf lead to fogged windows on their part. My Volt chugged on past on my 47 mile commute (one-way). Even with Fan Only mode in the Volt, didn’t have fogging problems. Also – I notice that Leafs look pretty small. And so did the Prius C and a few Honda Fits that I passed. The Leafs were doing well under 5mph below the flow of traffic (hypermiling?)

The LEAF definitely “fogs” more than anything else I’ve driven (although it’s not that bad)… I think, but can’t know for sure, that this is due to a combination of very good internal sealing as well as a different ventilation system than most other cars. However, it’s also very easy to fix — about 30 seconds worth of setting the climate control to defrost will clear it up almost instantly. A lot of LEAF drivers turn off climate control to save power, so that’s another reason you may see more LEAFs driving around with fogged windows.

Regarding speed – once you get up into the 60+ mph area the air resistance really starts to hurt the efficiency of the car… so unless you have a really short trip you just can’t drive a LEAF around at 80mph and get any kind of decent range. The car is beyond awesome for <=45mph driving around the suburbs, it's pretty good in the 45-65mph range, but once you get up to highway speeds you don't have the top-end torque to really accelerate (it's perfectly safe, just not "fast") and the mileage gets much lower.

Good news on the LE production. That gives hope for a sub $50k price point.

Thanks for digging out the details on the US leases. Loving that new color for the LEAF. It is getting more tempting to re-up on a new LEAF now, but still have 16 months to go and many new announcements could happen.

EV-Van? I’m liking that, shag carpet optional?

p.s. – If I were forced, by mechanical failure, to replace a vehicle right now, I would lease a Leaf. Wonder what I could do that “she who must be obeyed’ wouldn’t get suspicious aboot?

SHE will likely snatch it from you and you will never see or drive it again.

So you’ll have to lease two 😉

I think Nissan would be wise if it took its excess battery capacity and came out with a real luxury vehicle for its Infinity Brand. If a superhuge battery is prohibative then make it a plug-in viamotors style hybrid with still a quite large battery and tiny engine that would run while stopped. The latter would unique in the current market place. The only competition would be ViaMotors ViaEscalade, but Nissan could do it better by enlarging the battery pack (in a large vehicle there’d be plenty of room to hide it, and have the genset use their smallest 4 cyl engine. The battery and cabin heaters could be standard hot water off of engine heat. Since this is really the achilles heal of EV’s in very cold weather, I’d have no object to running the engine, charging the battery and heating the battery/cabin at the same time.

At $199/month, it makes me wonder if Nissan said “Free cars! Come get your free cars!”, how many people would still pass on the offer.

Thank you for the Canadian coverage. I hope the lease prices are close to the US prices but unfortunately this is probably not going to happen. Comparing the current Leaf prices in Canada and the U.S. makes me think Nissan will charge a premium in Canada. If they don’t I will buy one for sure.

Yep We canadians read all of your stuff.
The internet makes it more difficult for manufacturers to tell “FairyTales”
Apple Canada finally learned and now offers the same US prices in Canada on all of their products.
If Nissan thinks they can continue to charge a 10% premium for Canadian cars when Canada has a FREE TRADE AGREEMENT with US made cars then they will not be successful in Canada.

The 30 minute DC fast charge has been great. I commute 28 highway miles each way, so need a top off to have enough left to pick up the kids, run errands after work.

The acceleration is amazing. As I’m getting on the highway, or getting out of the slow lane to make room for traffic from an onramp, I just shift to D to toggle out of eco mode and the Leaf just Zooms. Once I’m in the flow, toggle back to eco mode and my kw/miles avg at 4.0+.

Just test drove a Nissan Leaf the other day, but the pricing up here in Canada is quite unfair – especially in lease deals versus the states.

Nissan Leaf Canada should definitely fix this, and announce the 2013 pricing already for us Canucks.

Great site, keep up the great work.

I own a 2012 Leaf and will make the following comments. 1. Volt owners only get about 25 miles on the battery and can use the defrost anytime with no adverse effects. Leafs will use 15% off the max range or so running the older heating defrost setup, so many drivers select not to run it frequently.I live in Northeast (Mass) and use it in zero degrees and it works fine when I turn it on. Range suffers however. 2913 heater is 70% more efficient
The newer Leaf and the next yr 2014 will see an increase in mileage as they improve the regenerative braking (from a nissan tech) and add solar panel to the roof (already made over seas for use in the far east. The US govt is blocking it in the US, saying it is unsafe. It adds min of 2.5 miles per hour of sunlight. Expectations are that it will add 60-80 miles to the 2011-12 models range. Govt needs to be pressured to allow it in the US. That is all for now.

correction- 2013 has a heater which is 70% more efficient than 2011-12

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