The Nissan Leaf is an electric car by Nissan, a small five seat compact that is entirely battery powered.
The first Nissan Leaf came out in 2011 as the first mass market pure-electric car. The first Nissan Leaf came in the SV and SL configurations. The high powered charger available in the top configuration came out in 2013, though it was optional in the original model year Nissan Leaf vehicles. The rearview camera became standard in 2014.
This five seat hatchback runs entirely off of batteries; it has an 80 kilowatt motor and 24 KWh lithium ion battery pack. The Nissan Leaf has an estimated 75 mile range per charge, a limit selected based on studies that the average person makes a 35 to 38 mile round trip each day.
The Nissan Leaf takes six hours to charge from a 220 volt outlet, and it needs 12 hours to charge from a standard 110 volt outlet for the cheapest version of the car.
There are three main configurations: S, SV, and SL. The S level comes with keyless ignition, climate control, a heated steering wheel and seats, rear view camera, and iPod interface. The more expensive SV and SL configurations have a better charging dock that can charge the car in 4 hours if you have a 240 volt outlet, plus the ability to pre-heat or pre-cool the car while it is plugged in. The SL configuration adds a Bose audio system, leather upholstery, and quick charge 6.6 kWh port that can charge the battery to 80% in around 30 minutes at a high voltage commercial charging station. These CHAdeMO standard quick charging stations are most common in Washington, Oregon, and parts of Texas.
The Nissan Leaf was rated by the Consumer Reports 2015 Buyer’s Guide as having above average reliability.
The Nissan Leaf is quieter than average because it is electric. The Nissan Leaf has a top speed of 94 miles per hour. The Nissan Leaf gets the equivalent of 129 miles per gallon on the highway and 102 miles per gallon in the city. The Nissan Leaf goes zero to sixty miles per hour in around ten seconds.
The cheapest Nissan Leaf configuration, S, costs roughly $29,000 new in 2015. The SV configuration is $3,000 more. The SL configuration hit $35,000 new in 2015.
As of 2015, there was a $2,500 state purchase rebate for buying the Nissan Leaf. In California, electric vehicle owners can also use the carpool lane even if it is only the driver in the car. Hawaii has a $4,500 rebate as of 2015, while Georgia has a $5,000 state income tax credit for buying an electric vehicle. The state credits, which depend on where you live and tax rules in your state, are in addition to the $7,500 federal income tax credit for buying an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf.
Rivals for the Nissan Leaf include the BMW i3, Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S, Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500 E, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark EV, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid is not on this list because it sells so few of its vehicles.
The Nissan Leaf was the best selling plug-in vehicle in the world in the first half of 2015. Since it came out, the Nissan Leaf has outsold all of its battery-electric competitors in almost all quarters, though hybrid vehicles have traditionally had better sales because their gas tank extends their range.