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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nissan to Charge $32,400 for Leaf Electric Car in Japan

Nissan Motor Co., aiming to be the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles, will sell its battery-powered Leaf car from 2.99 million yen ($32,400) in Japan after government subsidies.

The Leaf will be eligible for a 770,000 yen government credit if current incentives continue through fiscal 2010, Nissan said in a statement today in Yokohama, Japan. The company will start taking local orders for the Leaf from April 1 and expects to sell 6,000 units in fiscal 2010 after the first deliveries in December.

The Yokohama-based carmaker will also start selling the Leaf later this year in the U.S. and Europe. Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn expects electric cars will make up at least 10 percent of global vehicle demand by 2020.

In the U.S., Nissan, Japan’s third-largest carmaker, will begin taking reservations for the rechargeable hatchback with a $100 deposit next month. A formal ordering process starts in August and the first cars are scheduled for delivery in December.

Production of the Leaf will begin in Japan this year and in Smyrna, Tennessee, in 2012. Nissan said on March 18 it will also build the car in Sunderland, England, starting in early 2013. The factory will have initial annual production capacity of about 50,000 vehicles.

In addition to the government subsidy, buyers of the Leaf in Japan will also be exempt from car-weight tax and the car- acquisition tax, Nissan said.

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