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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nissan starts selling all-electric Leaf today

At long last, Nissan begins taking actual orders today for the first next-generation fully electric car from a major automaker, the Leaf.

More than 18,000 people who plunked down $99 to stay on the reservations list will have first crack at turning their interest into an actual order for the all-electric, five-seat car. Orders will be taken online and Nissan is still taking reservations on Leaf's web site. Even though now you can actually pay for one, deliveries won't start until December.

The car has a range of about 100 miles per charge. Nissan has been having inspectors make home visits and taking other steps to make sure customers will be able to recharge at home and likely be happy with the car.

The base level Leaf, the SV, is priced at $33,720, Nissan says. It comes with a list of standard features, including cruise control and a navigation system. There is only one higher trim level, the SL, at $33,720. The list of extras?:

It includes a spoiler with a solar panel, backup camera, the Homelink garage opener system, automatic on-off headlights, fog lights and a rear cargo cover. There is only one option: a $700 quick-charge port that can recharge the Leaf on the road in as little as a half hour.

Leaf is eligible for federal tax credits that can reduce its cost to as little as $25,280. It is also has lease options as low as $349 a month for 36 months.


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