How 'affordable' is Nissan's Leaf?

2010-12-09 07:42

Many potential car buyers are still wary about battery cars, but simple maths about the new Nissan Leaf show compelling reasons - at least in the UK - to put one in your garage.

Whether the South African government will put its money where its mouth is on cleaning up the atmosphere or just continue to use "global warming" as another excuse to squeeze tax rands from its citizens remains to be seen but certainly the UK (and other nations) have grabbed at vehicles such as the Leaf with tax breaks and other financial benefits.

Independent experts in the UK, CAP, have predicted the Nissan Leaf will retain 47% of its on-the-road price after three years and 50 000km – better than hybrid and diesel rivals.


This has resulted in the cost of ownership falling even further, with low depreciation adding to the savings made from using cheaper, cleaner electricity as a fuel. Charging the Nissan Leaf’s batteries costs around £2 (about R22) and the car has a range of more than 160km, according to official figures.

Also, in some instances, battery-car drivers don't have to pay annual road tax, are exempt from congestion charges and can park scot-free in some cities.

Nissan has weighed in too: the cars are available in the UK on a 'personal contract purchase' scheme, the residual value being underwritten by Nissan.Which means buyers can pay the same in monthly finance as a conventional hybrid or diesel car but still see the huge savings on running costs.


With a deposit of £3850 (about R42 000), for example, the Nissan Leaf can be driven for £397 a month (around R4400). After three years the car can be handed back or refinanced, or the customer can buy another Nissan.

Paul Willcox, MD of Nissan Motor GB said: “Buyers can be confident that the Leaf will not lose value any faster than a conventional rival, thanks to the verdict of independent industry experts.

"Nissan is happy to show its confidence, too, by underwriting the future value using the private purchase scheme. This will help drivers to get behind the wheel of the 2011 European Car of the Year.”

  • persiuskomper2 - 2010-12-09 09:03

    Please Nissan, bring it to SA!!

  • AndyGF - 2010-12-09 12:33

    The transistor car is coming! Cant wait! I just think it will still be a while in sunny SA because our power infrastructure could not handle the loads these cars could put on the power grid. For now, we will have to stick to fossil fuels.

  • clint1980b - 2010-12-09 14:12

    In a SA context, the price will increase due to the customs and import taxes. Lets not forget the showroom price tag that would essentially nullify the "green tax" that should be about the only saving that could expect. It is not excluded from being tolled on the the highways and nor from the electricty price hikes And the fact it looks gay has no effect on my opinion of it either....

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