I decided to get myself an electric car- the Nissan Leaf. I’m happy to support the electric car technology and reduce my carbon footprint.
I bought the leaf because its 100 mile range, all electric engine, and roomy backseat serve my needs best. I ordered one “fully loaded”, just as my Prius and ford fusion hybrids had been in the past.
When the car arrived, it had acrylic seats, mediocre stereo, no sunroof, manual seat adjustments- it was basically as “loaded” as the Toyota Matrix I bought for about $13K 9 years ago. I asked the Nissan sales rep- “this is fully loaded?”. His reply- “Nissan didn’t think that the demographic for this car would want leather.” I smugly commented that non-vegans might also be interested in electric cars.
The majority of the people buying electric and hybrid cars are the early adopters- the same folks who buy organic food, have been using Apple Computer products for a decade or so, have an urban garden, etc. The Big Shots at Nissan might need to better identify with who they’re selling to.
Nissan has made a car that they are charging about $40k for ($30k after government incentive rebate) that is about as interesting as, well, a Nissan! Toyota got it right years ago with the Prius when they made the car’s technology futuristic to match its futuristic hybrid technology, featuring such advances as keyless entry, an “on” button, rear view camera, to-the-minute mpg status, engine and energy use graphics, etc. And Ford did a good job with its hybrid Fusion- with it’s high-tech computer system, graphics, lighting, practical controls/features, etc.
I don’t need luxury, but I also don’t like to get ripped off. I really like the Leaf for obvious reasons, but I feel that given how “standard” this car is, the executives at Nissan decided to price the car at $30K and then pocket the $10K govt. incentive on top of that. In other words, I think this car should be priced at $30K and then available to consumers at $20K after govt. incentive.
That being said, I recommend this car. The battery power works great. It’s really easy to charge (if your daily commute is 50 miles or less, you don’t even need to install a charger at your house, as it comes with a plug-in to any wall socket). And, regardless of the price, the financing for this car is VERY favorable. My monthly payment for this car is the lowest of any car I’ve bought in years.