Nissan's electric Leaf to cost £23,350

Nissan will sell its Leaf electric car for £23,350 after the government's £5,000 subsidy has been taken into account.

The price will include the battery, something that other manufacturers such as Renault have not added to the projected cost of their electric vehicles.
Customers can register interest in the Leaf now, but will be able to reserve vehicles from as early as July. The first cars will then be heading to UK and Irish roads from February next year. Left hand drive markets will get their vehicles from November when the car goes on sale in Portugal and the Netherlands.

At the moment the Leaf is only capable of 100 miles on one charge, and the battery is said to have a lifespan of between five and 10 years, but Nissan has said this could improve in the future. The company has said that new batteries can theoretically be slotted in to existing cars.

The Leaf is just the first of several Nissan electric models that are due over the next few years, with four cars due under the Nissan and Infiniti branding of different sizes. The Leaf will be built in Sunderland, and it is likely that future models will also be made at the UK plant.

According to Simon Thomas, senior vice president of sales and marketing Nissan Europe, it will take eight hours to charge the Leaf battery from flat to fully-charged. A quick charge from 0 to 80 percent charged will take just 25 minutes. Nissan has ruled out the possibility of programmes where dead batteries are swapped for fully charged ones, something Renault has said it will explore.

The Mitsubishi iMiev has been priced at £33,699, while the Renault Fluence is expected to cost between £20,000 and £25,000. All the zero-emission cars are claimed to be much cheaper to run than a similarly-priced combustion-engined vehicle.
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