Nissan Leaf gets more standard equipment for 2012MY and a higher price tag

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 19, 2011

The price of the base model of Nissan North America’s 2012 electric Leaf sedan will be higher by $2,420 to $36,050. The 2011 model year has a base price of $33,630, including delivery charges. The 2012 Leaf’s upper-grade SL model has a price tag of $38,100, higher by $3,530 compared to the 2011 model. A federal tax credit of $7,500 still applies though. More subsidies are offered by several states like California, Georgia and Illinois.

The 2012 model will have two new standard features, according to Brian Carolin, Nissan North America Inc. senior vice president of sales. The first one is a cold-weather package that features heated seats and steering wheel and a battery warmer.

The second one is offered on the more costly SL model. It is a standard quick-charge port that enables recharging of the vehicle up to 80% of capacity in less than 30 minutes. According to Brendan Jones, Nissan director of electric-vehicle marketing and sales, about 93 to 94% of Leaf sales are made up of the SL trim package.

He also revealed the majority of buyers have asked for the quick-charge option. Nissan will start to take online reservations in the fall from Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

By the end of 2011, Nissan will open up sales through retailers in Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. The March 11 disaster in Japan had further delayed its production and distribution.

Even the smallest details can have enormous impact. This is exemplified by the new Nissan LEAF. Proof of this is the straight and sharp V-shaped design wherein the headlights, which use light-emitting diodes, are long and slant upward. It also utilizes what can be described as a blue internal reflective design as if to inform everyone how special this car really is. Since the headlights make use of LEDs, it means that electricity used is 10% of the amount that standard lamps use.

Less electricity used means it is able to attain outstanding range autonomy. This is not the only advantage offered by the headlights. With the way it has been designed, the airflow is divided and sent away from its door mirrors. As a result, there’s lower drag and wind noise. On the inside, the brand is able to make a cabin that is both stylish and attractive by making good use of bright trim colors. The instrument illumination and the dashboard highlights have that blue theme. If the blue earth color theme, which gives off an environment friendly feel, seems familiar, this is because it’s based on the body color of the first LEAF model (Aqua Globe).

With the new LEAF, Nissan is displaying a more holistic approach when it comes to eco-friendly advances and zero-emission mobility. In order to attain a period of zero-emission mobility, the brand knows that technologies related to internal-combustion engines will have a significant part to play in the years to follow, especially as it relates to global transportation. The LEAF is but a first step to reaching this period.

Due to the holistic approach mentioned earlier, customers will be able to select from a wide range of available eco-friendly technologies. Because of this, some customers are likely to consider the LEAF as the perfect match as it will be the only vehicle they will own or need. For those who have other preferences, the LEAF will still be a good fit considering that it remains to be a logical addition and is the best one when it comes to a daily drive.

Even if the main objective is zero emission, Nissan remains dedicated to continuing improvements in its eco-friendly technologies not just in lowering emissions but even in increasing the efficiency. In particular, the various comprehensive packages of auto technologies being equipped to the LEAF by Nissan include, among others, Clean Diesel, CVT, HEV, and Idle Stop. The brand is currently conducting researching and investing in FCV technology.

One excellent feature of the LEAF is that it has a connected mobility IT system. It ensures that drivers get the needed support as well as access to information and even entertainment for 24 hours a day. This is because the IT system in the LEAF is connected to a worldwide data center. Chief Product Specialist Tooru ABE reveals that having an IT system brings with it a decisive advantage. By having IT features, he adds, it allows the LEAF to build a zero-emission community.

It also helps in having the LEAF become a vehicle that offers enhancement for everyone inside while remaining to be the driver’s partner, he continues. One example of an IT feature is the monitor that has been mounted on the dashboard. It is here where relevant information is displayed like the power remaining in the LEAF or the reachable area.

It can even show a list of charging stations in the area. Another example is a remote-controlled timer on-board that can be pre-programmed in order to recharge batteries. An innovative technology in the new LEAF is the ability to use a mobile phone in order to trigger the charging functions or activate the air conditioning. While this is already a feature in some vehicles, the LEAF is unique as it can do this even without turning the power on.

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