2. Nissan Leaf
The all-electric Leaf being now three-years old, and approaching 100,000 global sales as we speak, certainly is not new, but it was significantly price-cut for 2013 and is now built in Tennessee for U.S. consumers.
It’s one of only three EVs available nationwide, outsells all sub-$40,000 EVs by a wide margin, and is doing more than any other to show EVs can make sense now for those limited to mainstream budgets.
The Leaf S actually starts at just under $30,000, is eligible for $7,500 in federal subsidies, possible state subsidies, and its total cost of ownership potentially beats a $25,000 Toyota Prius by over $7,000 over a 5-year period.
Sure, it’s a short range runner, but resourceful owners not intimidated by sourcing public or end-point destination charging can stretch its 84 miles on a full charge if needed.
Every month somewhere around 2,000 more Leafs hit the road, and they are changing minds not just for their drivers but for people in their sphere of influence.
Naysayers and fence sitters remain, but their case for criticism is being eroded even as Nissan prepares for more, and other automakers follow its lead to one degree of another.