Nissan says to sell Leaf electric car for under 30,000 euros

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Japanese carmaker Nissan announced on Monday that the company's Leaf electric car will be sold in Europe for under 30,000 euros (37,105 dollars) after various government incentives.

The Leaf, which stands for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family car, is billed by Nissan as the world's first mass-produced electric vehicle with zero emissions.

The car will go on sale in Portugal and the Netherlands in December, and will arrive at Britain and Ireland in February 2011, Nissan announced at a London press conference on Monday.

Reservations can be made from July, while the car will be rolled out every major western European country by the end of next year.

"Nissan leads the industry by being the first automaker to offer an affordable zero-emission car," said Simon Thomas, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, adding the price will include the cost of a lithium battery.

"It's a pure electric vehicle, with no tailpipe emissions and very low running costs."

The vehicle will cost 29,955 euros in Portugal and 29,995 euros in Ireland after government incentives.

In Britain, the Leaf will sell for 23,350 pounds (27,338 euros, 33,750 dollars) after a state incentive of 5,000 pounds.

The price in the Netherlands will be 32,839 euros -- but there will be extra subsidies that will slash the cost by between 6,000-19,000 euros.

The Japanese firm, which is 43.4-percent owned by France's Renault, forecasts that electric vehicles will account for ten percent of worldwide car sales by 2020.

The five-seater hatchback Leaf has a range of 160 kilometres (100 miles), can be rapid-charged to 80 percent of its battery capacity in 30 minutes, and travels at a top speed of more than 140 kilometres (90 miles) per hour.

Nissan added that its electric car will cost around the same as a diesel or hybrid vehicle, like Toyota's Prius.

© 2010 AFP

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