When the new Nissan Leafs come out in a few months, there will be one major change from the 2011 Nissan Leaf. No it's not under the hood, or what you might find in the dash. And it's still the only planned fully electric car just like 2011. No the change is on the sticker price.
And while the Leaf has never been considered among the cheap cars, Nissan's choice to raise the base price by $2,420 over the 2011 Nissan Leaf's price is surprising for a new type of car just starting to make traction in the marketplace. Or maybe raising the price is not much surprising, but rather disappointing.
The top of 2011 electric cars, and the only one offered by a major supplier, the Leaf has been a big hit even with its limited sales so far. It's hard to even run a car comparison side by side simply because the Leaf is so different than anything else out there.
Your car gets 40 MPG? Compare it to the Leaf, which doesn't run on gallons of anything at all. Testing shows that the Leaf maybe similar to what a normal engine would need getting 99 MPG to compare. Suddenly 40 MPG seems tiny.
So it's easy to understand why there is hype, and why with Nissan's baby steps sales pace there's demand. It's going to be a long time before we see any in our used car search engine. But it's surprising that a car that relies so much on Government and State refunds to be affordable in the first place is getting more expensive to milk that demand. Remember these are not cheap cars.
States are already starting to slash their energy rebates in order to save money. And as soon as a rival produces something to run a car comparison side by side that higher sticker is going to stand out. On resale I understand even why it would fetch near retail on a used car search engine. But to hike the price that much for such small sales seems to be a small payoff. Enjoy the time alone in the electric spotlight Nissan, moves like this won't keep you there.