Way back in August 2009, we ran a story on our website about Nissan’s new, “all electric” vehicle, The Leaf.
Well Nissan have just released the prices for “The Leaf” and if you fancy one, you had better start saving up as it’s going to cost you £23,350 when it arrives here in the UK in February 2011.
I know new technology is expensive, but the £23,350 is what you’re going to pay after the Government incentives have been deducted, however, the price you pay, will include the battery! but that’s still an awful lot of money.
Nissan say that compared to cars like the VW Golf Blue Motion and Toyota’s Prius, the Leaf stacks up spec for spec and expect customers to buy around 2000 of them in its first year in the UK.
So why would you buy one?
Well if you move away for the moment from the emissions and simply look at it as a financial proposition, Nissan say it will save around £500 a year in fuel costs, compared to a traditional car, as the Leaf is charged from a 3 pin plug at your home, as opposed to running on pump gas and of course, there is no road fund tax to pay. Nissan say the Leaf will travel up to 100 miles on an 8 hour charge
From a drivers point of view, well its even better, as “all-electric” cars have been given a 5 year benefit-in-kind exemption which means nothing to pay to revenue for the privilege of having it as a company car and that can mean saving anything from just a few quid, up to several £100 a month, depending on the car you presently drive and the rate at which you pay tax.
Just 4 European markets are being targeted initially and here in the UK, we are one of them and if you fancy one, you can register an interest with Nissan and if in the end, you don’t decide to buy one, your deposit would be refunded.
Nissan have invested a lot in this, and in fact, as part of the “Renault – Nissan Alliance” jointly they have reputedly invested over 4 billion Euros and have confirmed 5 plants that will make the batteries and another 7 plants (including Sunderland in the UK) that are going to build the car itself and its clear that the technology will find its way into other brands.
Nissan are keen to say that there isn’t a price premium for having an all electric vehicle, inferring the car would be worth the asking price, irrespective of how it’s powered, but do we believe that? Do we really believe that?
Seems to me that you can get a lot of car for a touch under £24,000 and many of them return incredibly good fuel consumption. There is even a BMW 3 Series that can return 78.5mpg on a run with sub 120g/km emissions and lots of other cars that are sub 100g/km to choose from and you don’t have to leave these parked up for 8 hours every time you travel 100 miles.
So for me, I am not against this technology and I applaud Nissan for giving it a go, but its very much in its infancy and you can liken it to when early mobile phones were the size of a house-brick, but now they are micro small, work better and offer so many lifestyle benefits. For goodness sake, we know how often the cars we drive today go wrong and we’ve been making these for years, so personally, I think I would rather wait until the product is better developed and has all the bugs ironed out and of course, will allow you to travel more than 100 miles before you have to top it up (unless of course, they give me a 100 mile extension lead).