NASHVILLE--The Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf have less in common, aside from the hype behind them, than you might think. But marketers are preparing the two battery-powered cars for head-to-head battle for green-conscious American consumers, even though the two will compete head-on in just a handful of markets.
Last week, General Motors said it will price the Volt at $41,000, a stiff $8,220 above the Leaf's retail price, set in March, of $32,780. The Volt's price includes a shipping charge; Nissan hasn't set the Leaf's shipping charge. Also, a buyer of either car is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
But backed by anticipated strong residual value from an aggressive eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the Volt, GM said it also will offer a lease on the battery-driven Chevy of $350 a month for 36 months after a $2,500 down payment.
That plan clearly targets the Leaf's lease plan of $349 a month for 36 months after $1,999 down. And leasing likely will dominate electric-car transactions for the near future, said Mark Perry, Nissan North America's director of Leaf product planning.
"It doesn't matter," Perry said as he drove to an electric-vehicle conference in San Jose, Calif., last week. "We're still the most affordable electric vehicle."
Nissan immediately said it would offer an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the Leaf, citing "U.S. market competitive conditions." … Read more