Nissan's all-electric model to sell at 3.76 million in Japan

Nissan Motor Co today said that it would sell its battery-powered Leaf hatchback starting at 3.76 million in Japan.

Nissan said it has plans to sell 6,000 Leaf cars, its first mass-volume all-electric model, in Japan for the year ending in March 2011. The company would accept orders for the car from 1 April in Japan, for deliveries starting December.

After accounting for Japanese government subsidies, the company said the net cost to consumers to buy the battery-powered model would work out to nearly 2.99 million.

In contrast Toyota Motor's gasoline-electric Prius hybrid, now in its third generation, has a base model starting price a little over 2 million in Japan.

According to analysts the pricing of the Leaf also represents a premium over established combustion-engine powered small sedans like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla that they say represents the cost of development and production of the model's lithium-ion battery pack.

Battery costs and generally higher upfront costs are major negatives in the wider acceptance of electric vehicles.