In response to rumors that the Leaf electric vehicle will cost between JPY3.5 million and JPY4 million (about $38,720 to $44,250), an insider insisted that the Leaf will not be priced within this range and that it will be made affordable. This source added that Nissan Motor Co. has plans to lease the Leaf at a monthly rate that is comparable with the cost of leasing a Honda Accord or Toyota Prius.
This same source said that by the end of March, Nissan will be announcing the pricing details of the five-seat hatchback in Japan.
Nissan plans to sell the vehicle and lease the lithium ion battery, which accounts for a big portion of the overall cost. But in the US where the Leaf will arrive at select showrooms in December, Nissan is expected to revise this pricing plan as customers have said that they want to lease both.
Nissan's plan to take the lead in zero-emissions cars is actually centered on the Leaf. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn thinks that its will depend on being competitively priced against similar cars powered by gasoline.
On March 17, Japan's Mainichi newspaper reported that the sticker price in Japan could reach $44,000. But due to the government's electric-vehicle incentives (which could go up to $7,500), the final price could drop to less than $33,000.
The source said however, that Nissan's target price is lower. When considering the battery and the vehicle are being leased and with these incentives, the monthly lease is seen to be comparable with that of the Honda Accord or Toyota Prius. [via autonews - sub. required]