Breaking: Nissan LEAF Electric Car Priced from $25,000

The fully-electric Nissan LEAF, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will be priced from $25,000 to $33,000. Word comes from Nissan North America product VP Larry Dominique.

“Competitive pricing is going to allow mass-market appeal, which is going to set Nissan apart,” said Dominique, commenting that the LEAF will be less expensive to own and operate than a gasoline car, even if gas cost just $1.10 a gallon.

Importantly, this price comes before any government tax incentives, which are certain to reduce the total cost by several thousand dollars.

Comparatively, the 2010 Toyota Prius starts at just $22,000.

The LEAF is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Sales of the LEAF will begin next year with 5,000 vehicles available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.

[Source: Automotive News]