Only a few weeks after unveiling a new production line at its Sunderland subsidiary in the UK, Nissan has today confirmed that customers will be offered a slightly different pricing package which may well attract those looking towards electric vehicles. At this moment in time, the most expensive version of the Nissan Leaf 2013, with all mod cons and enhancements, is just under £25, 500. However, under the new scheme being offered to UK customers, this price could fall to around £16,000.
This is a bold move by Nissan and one which has been widely applauded in political circles and by electric car enthusiasts. However, there are some issues to take into consideration before you get your cheque-book out and buy yourself a Nissan Leaf 2013.
Leasing the batteries
The way in which the upfront cost of the Nissan Leaf 2013 has been reduced in the UK is by offering drivers the chance to lease their car batteries as opposed to buy them out right. The exact cost of leasing the batteries will start at around £70 a month, although it will vary due to the mileage covered and the length of contract. As electric car batteries make up a significant portion of the overall cost of the vehicle this will be a significant saving in the short term.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Now Nissan has announced a new greener, better (obviously), UK-made (surprise!) Nissan LEAF that will be available from spring 2013 in three versions: Visia, Acenta and Tekna."
The beauty of leasing car batteries, which is common place in the U.S., is the fact that you will be able to have them replaced as and when they are worn out. It will also allow electric car enthusiast to remain in touch with the latest electric car battery technology and while the £70 a month cost may alarm some people, is it really extortionate?
Improvements to the Nissan Leaf 2013
Over the last few months we have heard rumours that the Nissan Leaf 2013 would-be able to obtain up to 140 miles per full battery charge. The official data from Nissan seems to suggest this will be nearer 125 miles per full charge, which together with more than 100 improvements on the initial Nissan Leaf seems to be catching the attention of would-be buyers.
There is no doubt that the introduction of the Nissan Leaf 2013 into the company's Sunderland subsidiary in the UK is setting tongues wagging across the country. This is perhaps the perfect way in which to promote the merits of electric vehicles and indeed to attract more attention to the Nissan Leaf itself.
Will it be enough?
While some people will be enthused by the reduction in the initial cost of acquiring a Nissan Leaf, others will look at the £70 cost per month to lease the batteries as something they would want to avoid. It will be interesting to see how the company advertises and promotes these particular schemes and indeed the Nissan Leaf 2013 itself. The company has a vehicle with an acceptable journey range, probably one of the most efficient electric cars on the market today and by far and away the biggest mass market leader to date.
Will that be enough for traditional motorists to consider a change?