Nissan Motor Co. is selling the Leaf electric vehicle from 3.76 million yen ($40,640) in Japan while for the North American market the car will be priced at $32,780 MSRP ($2,200 charger not included in the price). It is quite pricey but Nissan is hoping that government subsidies would significantly cut the cost to consumers in order to make it appeal to the masses.
To give you some perspective of how this model compares to its rivals, the Leaf is still about 1 million yen ($10,810) less expensive than Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s i-MiEV electric car. Still, it costs much higher than the Prius, Toyota Motor Corp.'s top-selling gasoline-electric hybrid. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has revealed that the Leaf will be priced similarly to a high-spec version of a diesel-powered compact car.
In Europe, the Leaf is priced at about 35,000 euros ($47,200) to 40,000 euros ($54,000) depending on the brand. The Leaf is set to go on sale in Europe and the US later this year.
Expectations from analysts had been for Nissan to price the Leaf from $25,000 and $30,000 in the US. However, US consumers who buy electric vehicles like the Leaf and the upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid from General Motors Co. qualify for a $7,500 tax credit.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Toshiyuki Shiga, chief operating officer of Nissan, said that having zero emissions is the most important aspect in its cars. He pointed out that the sales point that he wishes to emphasize is that hybrid vehicles still do use up gasoline.
For the year ending in March 2011, Nissan has a target to sell 6,000 Leaf cars, its first mass-volume all-electric model, in Japan. Orders will start to be taken in Japan starting April 1. Deliveries will begin in December. When deducting Japanese government subsidies, Nissan expects the net cost to consumers to purchase a new Leaf would be close to 2.99 million yen ($32,373).