Nissan expects big challenge when electric-car incentives will be cut

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

While Nissan Motor Co. aims to keep the price for its Leaf electric car low, it says that governments are likely to have phased out sales subsidies in three years.

Nissan said that when the carmakers' current commitments end in three years, the governments probably won't be extending them and so consumers would be denied the full benefit of savings expected due to the larger scale and the more advanced technology.

Nissan Senior Vice President Simon Thomas revealed the company's outlook in an interview last Monday where he had announced the pricing in Europe for the Leaf electric car.

With the incentives, Nissan is hoping that its mid-sized Leaf can be priced below 30,000 euros ($37,000) in a majority of the European markets.

As a result, Nissan will have the capability to compete with gasoline-electric hybrids from Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Thomas disclosed that economies of scale from boosted production may be offset by diminishing payments.

Thomas said that he assumes that the incentives won't be cut off and would only be reduced. He pointed out further that governments aren't obligated to extend those programs beyond the definitive agreement.

Unfortunately, Nissan doesn't have a definitive agreement in several countries. [via autonews - sub. required]

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