Four years after the Nissan LEAF first went on sale in the U.S., the little electric sedan is finally coming to the island of Puerto Rico. Pre-sales of the Nissan LEAF have begun at the Adriel Auto dealership outside of the capital of San Juan, and a generous import tariff refund puts the starting price around $26,000.
The actual cost of the Nissan LEAF in Puerto Rico will be around $33,480, but the local government recently passed a law that refunds 100% of the hefty import tax. This works out to be about $7,070, approximately 21% of the LEAF’s cost, bringing the price down to a more-palatable $26,410.
With over 50 EV charging stations on the island according to Elnuvodia.com, the Nissan LEAF becomes the first EV to go on sale, beating out vehicles like the Chevy Volt. This could be because of Peutro Rico’s high cost of electricity, which sits at around 27 cents a kWh, as the primary means of power generation is gasoline. This means it would cost about $4.50 to drive a Chevy Volt its full 38 miles, whereas the cost of a gallon of gasoline sits at just $1.74. No wonder it’s taken so long to get EVs into Puerto Rico.
The Nissan LEAF won’t have a monopoly for long though, as the BMW i3 is coming to the Caribbean soon, and there’s probably a few Tesla Model S sedans lurking about as well.
With the cost of gas so low, and the cost of gas-powered electricity so high though, does an EV really make sense in a place like Puerto Rico?
Sounds like maybe they need more solar panels.