Nissan Australia has confirmed today that the Leaf electric vehicle, which opens for public orders in February before first deliveries take place in June, will be priced at $51,500 before on-road costs.
Announcing the Leaf price today, Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson said Nissan expected fleet buyers to comprise the lion’s share of Leaf customers in the first six months, as part of the EV ‘education process’.
However, the Leaf will be available for any customer to order from February and Mr Thompson said Nissan expects to sell “hundreds” of examples of the world’s first mass-market EV in the remaining half of next year, before annual sales volumes eventually grow to the thousands.
Private buyers will have their homes' wiring assessed to ensure it is capable of taking the 10-amp draw required to charge the Leaf on a "level one" basis.
Nissan is also recommending they upgrade to a 15-amp recharge facility - but can't yet give a price on what the "level two" charging point will cost. Nissan Australia brand manager Darren Holland said recharging via a 15-amp supply would take about eight hours if the battery was flat
Nissan Australia says it will make available Level 3, will charge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in around 30 minutes, and 4 fast-charging systems for the Leaf, which will initially be available from 13 specialist Nissan dealers in major metropolitan centres, including Hobart and the Gold Coast.
The number of Leaf outlets will be expanded in stages until 2014, by which time Nissan expects to have sales and service centres in all major provincial centres.
Nissan has sold more than 20,000 examples of the Leaf globally in its first year, making it “the highest-selling electric car in the history of the car industry”, according to the company.
“We’ve stated before that we expect to see meaningful sales volumes from Leaf as a contribution to Nissan Australia’s market growth expectations and zero-emission leadership aspirations,” he said.
“With a range of up to 170km on a single battery charge, the Leaf is expected to find favour early on in Australia’s fleets, as they seek sustainable transport solutions, and later with private customers who are interested in a zero tailpipe emission car ownership experience coupled with freedom from petrol service stations.
“Nissan dealers will be at the forefront of automotive generational change when Leaf arrives in their showrooms mid next year,” said Mr Thompson.
Nissan expects to sell at least 250,000 EVs a year by 2014, and plans to launch seven other battery-powered vehicles over the coming years. Production of Australia’s Leaf begins at Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan next March.