Nissan hopes subsidies will power e-cars image

Japanese carmaker Nissan will sell its Leaf electric car for a base price of US$32,780 ($46,700) in the United States and begin taking orders on April 20.

When combined with a US$7500 federal tax credit, the Leaf would be priced at US$25,280, the carmaker said in a statement. State and local credits could further reduce the cost to consumers.
Nissan also said it would sell the battery-powered Leaf hatchback starting at 3.76 million yen ($58,000) in Japan, where it is also counting on government subsidies to slash the cost to consumers.
The company aims to sell 6000 Leaf cars, its first mass-volume all-electric model, in Japan for the year ending in March 2011. It began taking orders for the model this week, with the first delivery expected in December.

After accounting for Japanese government subsidies, Nissan said the net cost to consumers to buy a new Leaf would be near 2.99 million yen ($46,200).
The Leaf pricing also represents a premium over established, combustion-engine powered small sedans, such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
Analysts have said the premium reflects the cost of developing and producing the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery pack.
The cost of batteries and the reluctance of consumers to pay more upfront for fuel-saving technology are seen as the major hurdles to mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

From:New Zealand Herald