Nissan Motor Co. said today that the lithium-ion battery pack that powers the all-electric Leaf hatchback will carry a warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles -- matching its nearest rival, the Chevrolet Volt.
The extended warranty is aimed at alleviating consumer concerns about battery life in electric vehicles, and to encourage the commercialization of electric vehicles, Nissan officials say.
The Leaf will be available starting in December. Sales will start in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee, Nissan said today.
The five launch markets were selected because of the availability of charging stations as a result of the EV Project. The federally supported program is examining how EV drivers use their vehicles and use the electric grid.
As part of the project, ECOtality North America, a San Francisco provider of electric transportation and storage technology, is deploying nearly 15,000 charging stations this year in 16 cities in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Texas and the District of Columbia. Nissan and General Motors Co. are partners in the EV Project.
Nissan said customers in the five launch states account for more than 55 percent of the 17,000 reservations placed for the Leaf so far.
The Leaf is an all-electric, zero-emission vehicle that can be charged on a special 220V outlet.
It carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $32,780 before a federal tax credit. The credit lowers the price to $25,250. It can also be leased for $349 a month for 36 months and $1,999 down.
The purchase price is considerably lower than that of the Volt, which GM said today will be priced at $41,000. But the Volt can also be leased for $350 a month for 36 months after a $2,500 down payment.
Buyers of the Volt and the Leaf are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Consumers who have reserved a Leaf with a $99 refundable deposit will be able to place firm orders for the car starting in August, Nissan said today.
After the initial market introduction, Nissan said the Leaf will be available in Texas and Hawaii starting in January 2011; North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington (D.C), Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama in April 2011; and the remainder of the nation in the fall of 2011.