Nissan is betting that Toyota Prius lovers will fall in love with the new Nissan LEAF electric-car. According to Nissan Division Vice President Al Castignetti, more than half of the 130,000 hand-raisers who have shown interest in the LEAF so far have been Prius owners.
“That’s a pretty significant signal to us,” Castignetti said. “It tells us that there is a segment of eco-friendly consumers who are interested in going to the next level. They own a hybrid vehicle. But if the next step is available, they want to take it.”
On May 26, Nissan held a groundbreaking celebration that marked the beginning of construction of the company”s Smyrna, Tenn., plant that will produce lithium-ion batteries that power the Nissan LEAF.
Refresher: Power for the Nissan Leaf comes from a 107-hp electric-motor that runs on power supplied by lithium-ion cells. On a full-charge, the Nissan Leaf allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. A full charge takes up to 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet. Buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280, or for a lease payment of $349 a month.
2011 Nissan Leaf:
– By: Omar Rana