It’s a story we’ve told before, and it’s now that time of year to tell it again – the all-electric Nissan Leaf hatchback has been named the cheapest electric car to own over five years by US-based Kelley Blue Book.
It is the third year in a row that Nissan’s popular and pioneering electric car has received “5-Year Cost to Own” award.
It beat competitors including the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt and 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric based on ownership data on depreciation, expected energy costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, as well as state registration fees.
“With a sleeker exterior shape that deserves a “most improved” prize, a modern interior that’s a pleasure to ride and drive in, and a pricing strategy that’s very competitive, the Nissan Leaf takes home our Best Electric Vehicle 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the third year in a row,” wrote Kelley Blue Book about the Leaf’s award.
Available in the US with either a 40kWh or 62kWh battery, the base model with 150 miles (241km) range costs from $US32,525 ($A48,724 converted).
According to Kelley Blue Book, five years of ownership in the US costs $US40,186 ($A60,201 converted), compared to the Bolt which offers up to 259 miles (416km) driving range and costs $US42,417 ($A63,543 converted) over five years and the Kona Electric with 258 miles (415km) driving range which costs $US44,910 ($A67,278) converted.
“Since we sold the first Nissan Leaf in late 2010, owners have been seeing the financial benefits of trading gas for electricity and significantly less routine maintenance offered by an EV,” said Aditya Jairaj, director of electric vehicle sales and marketing for Nissan North America in a statement.
“With a long list of standard safety enhancements for the new model year, we believe Leaf has become an even greater value for 2020.”
Still eligible for the $US7,500 ($A11,235) US federal tax credit means that drivers can buy the 40kWh Nissan Leaf for as little as $US25,025 ($US37,489 converted) – or, if more driving range is required the 62kWh Nissan Leaf Plus with up to 226 miles (363km) range is available from $US38,200 ($A57,226 converted), or $US30,700 ($A45,990 converted) once the tax credit is applied.
The 40kWh Nissan Leaf was introduced back into Australia for $49,990 before on roads after a long hiatus, and we have reached out to Nissan Australia to discover if there is yet any more news on 62kWh availability locally.
In the meantime, recent changes in grey import rules mean the longer range Leaf can be brought in as described in this article here.
All driving ranges mentioned above are based on the US-based EPA rating.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.