Nissan Leaf SL
- Mpg equivalent: 99 miles combined city and highway
- MSRP: $37,250
- Annual fuel cost: $600
Alongside the Leaf SV electric car, Nissan introduced the higher level Leaf SL for 2012, starting at $37,250. It qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The SV and SL models both use an 80-kilowatt electric motor, which jumps alive with a 24-kwh, lithium-ion battery system. The EPA estimates it will go 73 miles on a charge and gives it an mpg equivalent of 99 miles combined, 106 miles for city and 92 miles for highway. The engine puts out 107 horsepower and hits speeds up to 90 mph.
Due to upgraded features, the SL model costs an extra $2,050 over the SV model. The standard quick-charge port provides up to an 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes at commercial charging stations. Otherwise, you'll wait about 20 hours for the standard 120-volt trickle charger or seven hours with the 240-volt, home-charging station, which will cost about $2,000 to install.
The SL comes with a solar panel rear spoiler, a rearview camera monitor and automatic headlamps.
Both models use an aerodynamic design to reduce wind drag. Regenerative braking recycles kinetic energy back into the battery.