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Nissan launching upgraded 2012 LEAF in new US markets

Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to US consumers, upgraded for the 2012 model year. Equipped with additional standard equipment including quick charging and cold-weather features, the 2012 LEAF now will also be available for order in the Southeastern United States and Illinois.

In response to direct feedback from Nissan LEAF owners, the features that customers want most will come standard on the 2012 Nissan LEAF—including quick charging and cold-weather features.

—Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America

Nissan on 25 July will open up the ordering process to consumers with existing reservations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC.

After the prioritized ordering phase for existing reservations in those markets, Nissan on 4 August will open new reservations and orders to the general public, both in these new markets, as well as places where the Nissan LEAF already has been on sale (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington). Expected delivery of the first 2012 Nissan LEAFs will begin in the fall.

Enhancements include:

  • DC Fast Charge capability standard on Nissan LEAF SL: The “vast majority” of MY11 consumers have opted for the DC fast charge port, which allows the vehicle to be charged at 480V, reducing charging time to under 30 minutes for charging the vehicle to 80% from a fully depleted state. As DC fast charge stations proliferate across the country, Nissan expects this feature to become even more popular. For 2012, fast-charging capability will be standard on the SL trim level.

  • Cold weather features standard on Nissan LEAF: As the Nissan LEAF rolls out to US markets with colder climates, cold weather features become standard equipment on all trim levels of the Nissan LEAF. These include a battery warmer, heated steering wheel, and heated seats in both the front and rear.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 2012 Nissan LEAF is $35,200 for the SV trim level, and $37,250 for the SL trim level. The monthly lease price will begin at $369.

Nissan will expand into additional new markets as the year continues. In the fall, orders from existing reservations and new reservations will begin in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By the end of the year, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will be added as markets where the Nissan LEAF will be available for order.

More than 4,000 Nissan LEAFs have been delivered to US customers. While 82% have never previously owned a Nissan, 75% considered no other vehicle than the Nissan LEAF in their purchase decision. On a whole, these early adopters report that they are using the Nissan LEAF as their primary car, and driving it far more than was originally anticipated. These consumers, most of whom are highly educated and have high income levels, are technologically savvy, environmentally conscious, and consider themselves advocates for electric-car technology, Nissan said.


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It is a bit disappointing that the SV trim did not get a DC fast charging plug. Otherwise it is good news that the cold weather features are now standard in cold weather markets. I read elsewhere that 90% of those that bought the Leaf 2011 model in the SL trim paid extra to get the DC charger so there is no point in not making that feature a standard. It was probable the key reason they bought the SL trim level as the DC fast charge option was not available on the SV trim and probably still isn’t with the Leaf 2012 model.

I think that most people only use one highway for their long-distance drives (e.g. the highway to their summerhouse) and it only takes a few fast charging stations along that highway to effectively eliminate the range anxiety for a battery electric driver. DC fast charging increases the utility of EV ownership because it means it can also be used for long-distance driving with very little inconvenience as the 20 to 30 minutes it takes to charge can be spend shopping (filling up the fridge at the summerhouse) or dining.

It is great to hear that Leaf owners already drive their Leaf as their primary vehicle. This proves that it offers better driving pleasure than cars with combustion engines that in comparison are noisy, shaking and smells.


the highway to their summerhouse

Oh yeah, most people have a summer house.


Heated seats. Heated steering wheel, a waste of available range imho. Want to extend range? A small propane heater in the cabin ought to do it.


$$37,250 for the Leaf? Just $3,750 less than the Volt but with a higher monthly lease rate. For an extra $3,750 for Volt the range anxiety disappears.


You get $7500 from the Federal tax credit for both LEAF and Volt and $5000 from California for the LEAF. That extra state incentive might influence the decision.


For most range anxiety disappears when they buy a calculator and figure out how little they actually travel in a day. A lot of people are delusional about how much range they actually need. If you're like me and rarely take a trip longer than 100 miles you can buy a Leaf and save yourself $3,750. For those few longer trips; car rentals are cheap enough to make range anxiety disappear.


I agree, I have thought car rentals for out of town trips would work, put all the miles on their car. I think people look at it as a capital purchase, they want it to do everything.


It is true that 80% of commuters drive less than 40M per day. But it will take time for the downsizing of range to sit easily with the public. Serial hybrids answer this anxiety today. Later, with an expanded charger infrastructure - it will be less of an issue.

I would still expect to see really small liquid fueled gensets in some of the new PHEVs.


I would think enterprising car rental agencies will even offer free charging to customers who leave their BEVs in their lots.

Maybe it is true that only 80% of commuters drive less than 40M per day, but it's the Volt that only has a 40 mile electric range. This is about the LEAF - which has a 100 mile electric range. Do you know what percentage of commuters drive less than that per day?

Also, even if some people might need more range on some trips, is it worth it to lug around an extra engine on the trips you don't need it?

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