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Nissan Leaf to cost less than £25,000?

Nissan’s all electric car, the Leaf is set to retail for around 4 million yen-equivalent to around £28,000.

The Leaf-set to go on sale in its home country later this year-is expected to undercut key rival, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV which currently retails for around 4.6 million yen.

The five seat electric car has long been promoted by its Japanese carmaker as an ‘affordable’ electric car solution.

According to Japanese publication, Mainichi Daily News, the new model will also be eligible for government subsidies in Japan-helping to further reduce its retail price-to around 3 million yen (around £21,500 or US $33,000). 

Nissan Leaf


Rumours that the Nissan Leaf could soon be announced for production in the UK have yet to be confirmed, however Nissan aims to open order books in selected European markets this summer, with the first batch of cars, all left-hand drive being delivered in late 2010. No prices for its retail in European and US markets have been confirmed although according to the New York Times, Nissan hopes to retail the model for around US $25,000 to $33,000. With £5,000 subsidies planned for the UK market, the Nissan Leaf model could feasibly retail  for less than £25,000-although the carmaker has yet to announce full pricing and specification details.

The Leaf, a C-segment, medium sized hatchback is built on an all-new bespoke EV platform developed by the carmaker and sits on a generous 2700 mm wheelbase.

Dubbed the ‘world’s first affordable, zero-emission car’, the Leaf is 4445 mm long, 1770 mm wide and 1550 mm tall. With an in-house developed compact electric motor in the front of the car driving the front wheels, its AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of more than 140 km/h (90 mph).

A full battery charge delivers a range of approximately 160km, which Nissan says will suffice for 80 per cent of customers who drive less than that on an average day.

Using a DC 50kW quick charger, the battery can be charged to up to 80 per cent of its capacity in under 30 minutes. Until quick charging posts are commonplace, however, it is expected that most owners will charge their vehicles either at home or at work using a domestic 220~240V and 16 amp system. A full charge from 0 percent to 100 percent under these circumstances takes about eight hours.

The carmaker plans to produce 50,000 units in Japan in 2010 and 150,000 units in the U.S. by late 2012.

According to the local publication, as part of Japan’s efforts to promote the widespread use of electric cars in the country, the national government has ‘drastically increased’ the funds for its subsidy program for EV purchases from 2.6 billion yen in fiscal 2009 to 12.4 billion yen in the fiscal 2010 budget bill- helping to slash the cost of a new Leaf for consumers.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Nissan

1 comment

James Pitcher

Do people who can afford to buy this car now really
need £5000 subsidy?

Creative accounting and subsidies only make an item
seem to be viable. I have found that paper
recycling is profitable only because the cost of
taking it to landfill is artificially inflated.
Without this factor paper recycling would probably
not be viable.

If a petrol engined car runs out of petrol
it is inconvenient, yes, but it is simpler to
rectify than a flat battery.

As regards wider issues
Where is the electricity coming from to charge the
batteries? Wind Farms (ref Daily Telegraph) are
already costing one billion pounds a year in

Any significant numbers of electric cars will
significantly reduce tax revenues from petrol and
diesel. By the time that the majority of
motorists are supposedly benefiting from electric
cars, the subsidies will have turned into tax

The idea of electric cars may have its merits but
it should stand on its own feet and not on
artificial benefits gained from penalties placed on
i.c. engined cars.

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