The key advantage that the 2011 Nissan Leaf holds over the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the price – starting over $7,000 cheaper than the Volt. Even though the Leaf’s lack of a range extending gasoline engine limits the car to being more of a commuter vehicle, the Leaf has outsold the Volt and there is no denying that the huge price difference in one of the reasons. However, for the 2012 model year, the gap between the Leaf and the Volt will tighten up as the entry level Leaf will carry a starting price of $36,050 compared to just $33,630 in the current model year (both with destination fees). Including destination charges, the Volt starts at $41,000 so provided that GM doesn’t announce a huge price increase of their own – the difference in price could drop below $5,000. That is still quite a bit of money but considering that the Volt allows you to drive without range anxiety, the Chevy still has a vast advantage in overall capabilities.
While no one likes to hear about price increases, the 2012 Nissan Leaf will benefit from more than just a bigger price. The 2012 Leaf will feature a standard cold weather package that adds seat and steering wheel warmers, as well as a battery warming system. Also, the higher end Leaf SL will come standard with a quick-charge port that allows the owner to charge the battery system up to 80% capacity in around a half hour. According to Automotive News, Nissan claims that 93-94% of the Leaf electric vehicles sold thus far are SL models optioned with the quick charge port so even though Nissan is jacking up the price for 2012 – it comes with a few features that most consumers can appreciate.
Nissan has also announced that they will reopen the online reservation form for US buyers sometime this fall for those folks in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York and by the end of the 2011 calendar year, the company plans to have retailers set up in Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Source: Automotive News