Nissan has just sent shockwaves through the motoring world by announcing the price of their new all-electric 100-mile-range Nissan Leaf, to be released at the end of this year.
The Leaf will sell for $25,280 US (thanks to a federal tax credit of $7,500).
Then, if you’re lucky enough to live in California with it’s $5,000 state tax incentive, you’ll be able to buy a hot-off-the-press Nissan Leaf for only $20,280 US. Most impressively of all, this price includes the battery.
Nissan have also announced vehicle leasing plans are to be begin at $349 US a month, also inclusive of the battery. This announcement is creating quite a stir, and I imagine other electric car manufacturers such as Mitsubishi and Tesla are having many a boardroom meeting regarding this announcement.
Mitsubishi has just announced pricing for their all-electric, 100-mile-range, quirky looking i-MiEV for $42,000 US (Japan only at this stage), which means if they want to catch up with Nissan they’ll have some serious trimming to do.
Tesla is in the same boat, making attractive 2-seater, all-electric sports cars with a range of 241 miles per charge, currently available for just over $100,000 US.
If the competition wants to stay in the running, they’ll have to work hard to lower the largest cost in an electric car: the cost of the battery.
Right now, lithium ion batteries for cars cost around $900 per kilowatt hour. The Leaf has a 24 kilowatt hour battery. If we used those figures, a Leaf battery should cost around $21,000 US. A battery is a third of the price of an electric car.
Therefore the Leaf should theoretically cost closer to $60,000 US in total. However, if Nissan has dropped the price to $500 a kilowatt hour (rumors say the company’s pretty close to it too) the battery pack should only cost around $12,000 US.
Even with battery pricing this low, Nissan might still not be making money on initial Leaf sales. Though if they’re close to meeting their target of $500 per kilowatt hour in battery costs, then they’ll be able to sell the cars for a profit very soon.
Orders open in just 3 weeks, and delivery of the car will begin in December this year. On blog sites across the globe people are starting to talk about this event being the first major step in the beginning of the electric car revolution.