Nissan cuts starting price of its electric Leaf to under $30,000

The entry-level Nissan Leaf now starts at $27,400.
Image: Nissan

Nissan’s Leaf 2022 range starts at just $27,400, making it the cheapest mass market electric car currently available in the US, according to Electrek. That starting price drops to as little as $19,900 if you include the full $7,500 federal tax credit, for which Nissan vehicles are still eligible. These prices don’t include other charges like licensing and destination fees, or additional state-level incentives, but it’s a promising sign of how affordable electric vehicles are becoming.

The exact price difference between Nissan’s 2021 and 2022 Leaf cars varies from model to model. The entry-level Leaf S, which has a 40kWh battery, has reduced by $4,270 from $31,670 to $27,400, undercutting the electric Mini Cooper’s starting price of $29,990 (the electric Mini is frequently cited as the cheapest electric car currently available in the US). However Nissan’s biggest price drop can be found with the top-of-the-range 62kWh Leaf SL Plus, which has gone down in price by $6,570 from $43,970 to $37,400.

The Leaf is available with up to an estimated 226 miles of range.
Image: Nissan

Despite the drop in price, the specs of the new Leaf cars are broadly unchanged from previous years. You should still get an estimated 149 miles of range from the 40kWh model, or between 215 and 226 miles from the 62kWh version. However, all 2022 models now include a CHAdeMO quick-charging port, plus a portable 240-volt charging cable, which should provide more flexibility when topping up the car’s battery.

The Leaf is currently the only electric car Nissan sells in the US, but later this year it will release the Ariya, a new electric crossover SUV with up to 300 miles of range. Announced last year, the Ariya is due to go on sale in Japan in the middle of the year, with the US and Canada to follow and pricing starting at around $40,000.

Nissan’s 2022 Leaf is on sale now, Nissan says.


Baffling that they are still shipping Chademo charging ports when no future chargers will include them and even already in place chademo plugs will be removed.

Also; I remember the leaf having terrible battery degradation because Nissan cheaped out with air cooling when every other modern electric car has degradation-preventing liquid cooling. Is the current leaf still afflicted with this baffling design choice?

It’s worse than than – the Nissan Leaf doesn’t do any cooling of its battery at all. And yes, this is a problem especially for anyone who does fast charging regularly.

There is currently one other car I’m aware of that’s still sold that uses air cooling for its battery – the Renault Zoe. This appears to work just fine – the batteries don’t have a longevity problem. The only limitation is that this caps charging speed to 50 kW and means you can’t use the air conditioning while charging, as the AC system is being used for the battery.

Pretty much every other car uses liquid cooling.

Thanks, the Leaf just reeks of "don’t care about this product" from every inch of its body; overall shape, performance, charging ports, infotainment, battery cooling. It seems Nissan just started caring about unsold inventory and is effectively doing a fire sale. I still wouldn’t recommend one of these already obsolete cars to anyone unless they get it for $150 per month strictly for city driving and home charging with a view of dumping it back to the lease company in 3 years. Anyone looking for a better car should just stretch to the mini or any of the other electric cars available for peanuts more.

I agree, I wouldn’t recommend one of these either. There are other EVs out there with similarly low prices that are far better. (E.g. Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa-e, Renault Zoe, Mini, Fiat 500, VW id.3, etc.) And all these others have CCS charging too, not the now-obsolete CHAdeMO.

The Leaf is also not very efficient – with its 62 kWh battery, it has a WLTP range of only 385 km. The 52 kWh Renault Zoe will go 395 km.

That’s why I think leasing a leaf is a pretty solid option. Leasing cheap electric cars for 2-3 years while the electric car market fully fleshes itself out is pretty good while also avoiding being stuck with a car with long term problems.

I have seen really affordable leaf leases (4-6k over 2 years) around but inventory is somewhat low (at least in Oregon).

I think the rapid degradation was resolved in the second generation though, regardless of cooling method?

Second gen has less bad battery degradation, but it’s still bad if you either drive like you stole it or charge it quickly.

Honestly I don’t see the appeal at these prices. Used leafs + a new battery is like half the price.

Now that I wasn’t aware of.
Welp, no Nissan Leaf for me, then.

It isn’t as bad as it used to be because they changed the type of battery to better resist heat degradation, but when the battery is not that big, the degradation is also not that big. There is also an official battery replacement program which makes old Leafs in good condition except the battery a possibly very good deal.

The tax credits should be permanent until EV adoption hits some specified percentage of the total auto sales market. Giving each brand X number of them is just another factor slowing EV adoption and putting more carbon dioxide in the air. The goal is to transition away from the ICE as soon as possible, right?

I have two EVs, a Golf E (paid off) and Kona Electric (financed). I recently looked at the KBB value of the Kona and was shocked, it lost about 50% of its value in just two years. I was noodling with numbers and it seemed like I was upside down by about……$7,000, or about the value of the tax credit. [Note: I am not planning on selling, so I haven’t realized any impacts; just for the point of conversation.] Based on the price drops GM and Tesla rolled out once their rebate qualifications went away, I am pretty much convinced that OEMs are using those incentives to unjustifiably inflate the cost of their EVs with the, "Yeah, but once you factor in the tax credit and other state rebates, it’s about the same as …" argument. If the govt. sees value in incentivizing EV adoption, they should find a way that doesn’t result in a cash grab for the OEMs. For the buyer, it is currently only a tax credit. So you may never see a single penny if you don’t have a tax obligation to cover that $7,500 but you WILL (apparently) have to eat the depreciation on the back end no matter what.
Tl;dr – There needs to be a better way.

This is a fair argument and I will actually say you have changed my mind. Good stuff.

That a tax incentive will affect used car prices is clear. I do not get why you think this leads to OEMs earning more money, though? Manufacturing cost for EVs is still higher than for conventional cars, so a tax credit would make sense if you want them to be similarly attractive to consumers..?

What they are saying OEM and dealers make tons of money while the first adopter or original owner gets burned on residual resale value. I mean cars are already poor investment until this summer (short-term), but electric vehicles that are not Tesla depreciate in value so much more than their ICE versions.

You can get a used Golf E or Leaf for peanuts on second hand market. I am not sure about this summers market but 4 months ago they were selling for very cheap with low miles.

Researching into that completly changed my mind. I was considering an EV for my daily which was going to be a used Tesla. When F150 lightning was announced I almost jumped on pre order.

Now after more researching I decide to hold off getting an EV until after 2030 because my state will force me to do that.

So I preordered a Ford Maverick hybrid. Which would suffice for my daily driving needs. I wish it was a PHEV and came with AWD but I don’t really need AWD in PNW. And I also can live without plugging in.

I bought a used PHEV for $15k 5 years ago. It’s only lost about $1500 since then due to weird used car pricing. Since we only average around 3000 miles a year, we will probably keep this car for at least another 5 years. I only put gas in it about 4 times a year and we usually average 70-75 mpg per tank. Even on long road trips, we get no worse than 45 mpg.

You’re right, but the point of the OEM subsidies is to pay for OEM to make expensive cars and generate demand for them. It’s the chicken-and-egg problem with mass adaptation and someone has to "build it" before "they will come." The tax credit addresses this specifically. Once EVs reach a certain adaptation rate I agree this needs to improve.

If you have residential solar, for example, you get paid for generation in many states (carbon credits type thing), beyond the electricity itself. This is probably what you’re looking for, but from a consumer point of view it isn’t really viable for cars, which is ultimately a consumer good. Maybe this could work, I dunno.

I think a much better start is subsidizing people installing L2 chargers.

I am pretty much convinced that OEMs are using those incentives to unjustifiably inflate the cost of their EVs

That is always the effect of these kinds of incentive schemes. All they really do is funnel taxpayers’ money into the pockets of suppliers. This has been so clearly demonstrated, so many times, at this point it’s pretty difficult to reach any conclusion other than ‘that’s the point’. But I guess if they announced a program to directly pay manufacturers $7500 for each EV they sold people would probably say it was BS.

The subsidy is split between buyers and sellers at the ratio of their elasticity. This is econ 102 stuff.

There shouldn’t be a tax credit on cars. There should be a $7500 tax on gas vehicle sales and a credit for e-bikes.

Cutting the price won’t fix how ugly it is, work on that instead nissan.

Baffling that their 2022 Leafs will still be using CHademo when their 2021 Ariya have switched over to CCS??

Who knows if the Ariya is really coming out in 2021, they’ve been dragging their feet for years on this.

New Nissan Leaf is the cheapest mass market electric car available in the US

/voice of Mom’s Mabley

And Ugleeeeyyyyyy

It really really is. I thought the first gen was terrible, but they really lowered their game with gen 2. And they made a really really big deal of the complete redesign, that really wasn’t: same basic underpinnings with added ugly exterior.

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