When the new Nissan Leaf was introduced with only a 40 kWh battery pack touting a range of 151 miles and a price just under $30,000, people questioned how it would compete with new EVs like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. But Nissan also promised a long-range model, and a new report suggests it will start at a competitive $36,000.
As it turned out, the new Leaf’s sales have been pretty steady so far, despite concerns that the range wasn’t long enough and most people would opt to pay a little more for the other new affordable EVs on the market.
But if you are holding out for a more capable Leaf, Cars Direct cites leaked order guides in its report that the 60 kWh model will start at $36,000. An earlier report indicated it will also get a range of 225 miles. If accurate, that places the 60 kWh Leaf at about $1,500 less than the Chevy Bolt’s starting price while only lacking about a dozen miles of range.
The top of the line SL trim of the 60 kWh Leaf is reportedly around $42,000, and the introduction of the $37,000 60 kWh Leaf S will kill off the current 40 kWh Leaf SL, but lack a few of the options in exchange for longer range and more power.
The more capable Leaf may also have a few months of advantage over the entry-level Tesla Model 3, as the $35,000 trim will also go into production sometime in “early 2019,” but lack the advantage of the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which Tesla expects to max out by the end of this year.
The full federal tax credit maxes out once an automaker sells over 200,000 electric vehicles, and then drops 50 percent every six months after. Nissan has sold a total of approximately 125,500 Leafs in the U.S. since it went on sale in 2010, so there’s still plenty of time to get the full $7,500 taken off of the sticker price, not to mention additional state and local incentives.
Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. If the leaked order guides are even real, all of this could change before the 60 kWh cars actually go into production, which is expected early next year.