2011 Nissan Leaf prototype
Pricing for the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car, eagerly awaited for many months, has now been set for both Japanese and U.S. markets.
In Japan, the 2011 Leaf will cost 3.76 million Yen ($40,000), and in the U.S., the list price will be $32,780.
The Leaf will also be offered for lease, with a monthly payment of just $349 a month, not including incentives that might help lower the amount.
Nissan will start taking orders for the Leaf on April 20; Japanese buyers can place their orders starting Thursday.
U.S. Leaf buyers will be eligible for a $7,500 credit on their personal income taxes, bringing the effective price down to $25,280. Japan offers an incentive of 770,000 Yen ($8,330) as well, lowering the Leaf's domestic market price to 2.99 million Yen. Several U.S. states will also offer tax credits, making Leaf ownership even more attractive.
The five-door electric hatchback will be the first of several EVs from Nissan. The company quotes a 100-mile range from the car's lithium-ion battery pack, though that number will vary slightly with temperature, duty cycle, and other variables.
In Japan, Nissan says, the per-mile cost of operating a 2011 Nissan Leaf on electricity will be just 23 percent of that for a gasoline vehicle.
The first 2011 Nissan Leaf models will roll off the production line at the company's Oppama factory this fall, with production in Smyrna, Tennessee, and Sunderland, U.K., set to commence during 2012.
Now that the 2011 Leaf has been priced, all eyes will turn to General Motors. That company's 2011 Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car is expected to be priced around $40,000 as well; it too is eligible for the $7,500 Federal income-tax credit.
Unlike the 2011 Leaf, with its 100-mile all-electric range, the 2011 Volt runs 40 miles on electricity--a distance that covers 70 percent of daily trips in the U.S.--and then a further 300 miles using a gasoline engine to generate electricity to power its electric motor.
[Nissan, CBS News]