Category: Nissan Leaf

Still The Cheapest EV After 13 Years – The Nissan LEAF

Posted by on 11 Jul 2022

The Affordable EV Still Going After 13 Years – Nissan LEAF

The Affordable EV Still Going After 13 Years – Nissan LEAF

It seems as if everyone and his dog are launching new electric vehicles all the time. But in the middle of this hurly-burly, there is one constant – the venerable Nissan LEAF launched 13 years ago as the first affordable EV.

The Nissan LEAF is still the most affordable EV in America, with the base model LEAF S coming in at $28 895 (around R476 000) including a delivery fee and less a government subsidy of $7 500.

There is a feeling that the LEAF may be getting to the end of its life, at least in its current form. Nissan USA has reduced the five trim levels to just two: the base model S mentioned above and the range-topping SV Plus at $36 895.

The two cars are quite different. The base S model has a 40-kWh battery with a range of 240km, while the SV Plus has a 60-kWh battery with a range of 341km. It also comes standard with Nissan’s excellent ProPilot Assist driver-assistance suite that combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technology.

The 2023 LEAF also gets a looks update, with the grille losing a chrome accent line and getting a backlit Nissan logo. This, together with the tweaked headlights softens the V-theme so prominent up to now.

Rumours emerged last year that Nissan has plans to replace the LEAF with an electric SUV around 2025. Nissan already has a second-generation EV SUV – the Ariya – on its way to dealerships after being sold out before it reached US ports. But the LEAF replacement will be more affordable – who knows, it may even be a LEAF SUV? Time will tell.

Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya is Nissan’s answer to the crowd of top-end EVs coming to market. Currently, there are four models, each with an 87-kWh battery, which gives the base trim level a range of 483km. These cars start at $45 950.

Five more affordable Ariya models are planned with a 63-kWh battery and starting at around $40 000.

Battery Costs

The biggest chunk of cost in an EV is the battery pack. Although this cost has come down with volume, current manufacturing practice and battery technology have reached a plateau. Nissan is investing heavily in new battery technology, including the holy grail of solid-state batteries. Current projections suggest the company could reach a cost of $65 per kW/h, which will give it price parity with internal combustion vehicles. And that would be the end of ICE.

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