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Nissan Australia prices Leaf at $51,500

Here in six months: Leaf EV hits local showrooms in June.

Ground-breaking new Leaf priced from under $52k as Nissan Oz prepares EV rollout

20 Dec 2011

NISSAN Australia has announced a $51,500 starting price for its first all-electric model, the Leaf, which opens for public orders in February before first deliveries take place in June.

The sub-$52,000 pricetag (plus on-road costs) is $2700 more than that of Mitsubishi Australia’s pioneering electric vehicle, the much smaller i-MiEV city-hatch ($48,800 plus ORCs).

Like the i-MiEV, the five-door Leaf hatchback will be available as a single, highly specified model, with the one purchase price including its lithium-ion battery pack.

That is also likely to be the case for Holden’s upcoming Volt plug-in hybrid, pricing for which will be announced closer to its late-2012 release date.

In contrast, Nissan’s sister company Renault has said its similarly sized Fluence ZE sedan will become publicly available here in the final quarter of next year priced from under $40,000.

However, Fluence EV customers will pay extra ongoing fees for its battery, in the same way mobile phone users pay network subscription costs according to usage.

Unlike the Fluence ZE, the Leaf’s battery is not compatible with the automated battery swap stations due to be rolled out by EV charging infrastructure company Better Place, which bills the zero-emissions Renault as the world’s first ‘unlimited-range’ EV.

Instead, Nissan said it will concentrate on fast-charge technology for the Leaf, which provides an industry-standard maximum driving range of at least 160km on a full battery charge.

The Leaf can be fully charged via a standard (240-volt, 10-amp) Australian household power outlet in about eight hours, or less with a 15-amp (‘Level 2’) charging outlet installed by an electrician.

Nissan Australia says it will make available Level 3 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.

12 center imageAnnouncing the Leaf price today, Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson (left) 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.

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.

“We see Leaf not only as a brand mobiliser but very much an integral part of our passenger car range.

“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.

Production of Australia’s Leaf begins at Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan next March. Nissan Australia says it has no plans to import the Leaf from the US or UK, where it will also be built within the next 12 months.

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