$36,050: the cost of going green

$36,050: the cost of going green

Nissan Leaf exhibited at the 2010 Washington A...

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Yesterday, Nissan North America announced that it will be increasing the cost of its popular Leaf by $2,420. As reported by AutoWeek.com, the 2012 model year will now be $36,050. A price that some might already consider too expensive, the demand for this all-electric anomaly is pushing its cost higher and higher.

With that extra two grand, consumers will not simply get extra features (like a battery warmer and a quick-charge station): they’ll actually be able to purchase the compact EV in more markets – that means you, Southeastern U.S. and Illinois! So, how does this compare to the Chevy Volt (which, I might add, is not solely battery-powered)?  The Leaf is creeping up to the Volt’s $39,995 price tag.

Is the Leaf worth the extra cash? At least the Volt comes with a sizable trunk and behaves like a normal car when necessary. Plus, I’ve actually seen the Volt on the roads of D.C. I have yet to lay my eyes on the quirky foliage-inspired car.

I’ve polled our Be Car Chic readers in the past about their interest in purchasing a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. Each time, the results have come back that they just don’t see the value in it at this point. I’ll venture to speak on behalf of the readers and say that hiking up the cost to own these vehicles isn’t going to make them any more appealing to the average consumer.

These cars, much like the Prius, seem to be developing a cult following all their own. And at these prices, I’d imagine that cult following has deeper pockets than their hybrid-loving predecessors.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.

There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Matt Keegan at 11:57 AM

    The price of the 2012 Nissan LEAF “is out of range” for this limited range vehicle. At the Plug-In 2011 conference, I asked Mitsubishi what the price of its i-MiEV will be when it goes on sale stateside this fall. The rep told me $28,995, which is before the federal $7,500 tax credit and whatever state rebate may be available. Looks like Mitsubishi will gain an edge.

  2. Melanie Batenchuk at 3:54 PM

    Matt – Thanks for your insight from the recent conference in NC. It looks like the i-MiEV will be more similarly priced to the Toyota Prius when it initially was introduced. There was a credit back then as well, but not $7,500 – I think it was closer to $3,500 or $4,500 but don’t recall. I’m just not convinced that the general population will ever get on board with a $40,000 EV – extended range or not.