Nissan Offers New Electric Car, LEAF, for $40,000

Nissan Motor Co. said its new electric car, the LEAF, will be sold for 3.76 million yen ($40,000) in Japan, less expensive than other zero-emission vehicles but still out of reach for many drivers who may also balk at its limited range.

The U.S. sale price for the LEAF was to be announced later Tuesday. Deliveries of the curvaceous, four-door hatchback will start in December and customers in Japan will be able to place orders starting April 1, Nissan  said. Orders in the U.S. start April 20, and soon after that in Europe, Forbes reported.

Over a six-year period, Nissan said the cost of recharging the Leaf would be about 13 percent of the cost of refueling a car powered by an internal combustion engine  in Japan. It has said the Leaf will be able to travel 100 miles on a single battery charge, and it announced today that it was developing a quick charger for the battery.

In Japan, car buyers may place orders for the Leaf starting on Thursday, Nissan said in a statement. Deliveries will begin in December, and Nissan expects to sell 6,000 Leaf cars in Japan in the 2010 Japanese fiscal year beginning on April 1, The Detroit News informed.

According to Fast Company, Nissan hasn't announced American pricing, but Japanese cars are often cheaper in the States than in Japan--so the Leaf may actually hit that $35,000 goal we heard last month.

Of course, we don't know if the battery will be included in that price, which could put the car into a different price bracket, but the Leaf is still highly affordable compared to early electric cars like those from Tesla. Evidently customers agree, given the huge number of pre-orders Nissan's taken for the Leaf. 





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