Government subsidies and low running costs expected to bolster appeal to customers. [FIMG=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Nissan_Leaf_BEV.jpg[/FIMG]Sean Welch - CleanMPG - Mar. 30, 2010 Hefty indeed... will it be priced lower here in the US? It has been widely touted as the first mainstream all electric vehicle, but Nissan's Leaf is likely to have something of a premium price tag after the company today confirmed the first models of the zero emission hatchback will sell for $40,602 USD in Japan. Nissan Will Launch New Season for Mobility in April by Starting Pre-Orders for Nissan LEAF in Japan. Pricing in Japan will be $32,287 USD after anticipated government incentives. Down-payment of $25,916 USD, and a low monthly fee for energy costs, can put consumers on the road to zero-emission driving. Company and dealers promise simple, one-stop shop experience. Nissan announced two key milestones as the company gets closer to the December delivery of Nissan LEAF, the world's first truly affordable, mass-market, all-electric zero-emission car. Specifically, the company announced the beginning of the pre-order process in Japan, as well as market-specific pricing for consumers. Other markets will announce their own pre-order process and pricing soon. Speaking at the Nissan Global Headquarters, Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga announced that beginning April 1st consumers will be able to visit dealers throughout Japan to place their orders for Nissan LEAF. Mr. Shiga was joined for the announcement by Takao Katagiri, Senior Vice President for Sales & Marketing in Japan, who announced pricing and explained the purchase process. In Japan, the price of Nissan LEAF will start from $40,602 USD. If current government incentives in Japan continue through fiscal year 2010, Nissan LEAF will be eligible for a $8,315 USD government incentive credit. With the incentive, the consumer's net price for Nissan LEAF will be $32,287 USD. Nissan LEAF will also be exempt from the car-weight tax and the car-acquisition tax. Nissan offers customers various purchasing methods, including a Nissan Auto Loan. For example, Nissan has designed a program that allows consumers to pay only $25,916 USD as a down-payment and then a low monthly fee of $108 USD, which includes the cost for electricity. This approach makes Nissan LEAF not only radical in its technology, but also radical in its affordability for consumers. Compared to cars in a similar class, Nissan LEAF's cost of ownership is competitive. Driving Nissan LEAF requires only electricity. During six years of ownership, the electricity cost would be $929 USD. By contrast, the gasoline cost for a car in a similar class would be $7,235 USD. "While a car in a similar class emits around 10 tons of CO2 in the course of six years, Nissan LEAF produces zero emissions while driving," said Mr. Katagiri. "Nissan LEAF is an attractive, affordable EV that will introduce a new way of mobility for our customers." Nissan aims to sell 6,000 units in Japan in fiscal year 2010. The company will offer a variety of services to customers who purchase Nissan LEAF: Charging equipment arranged by Nissan dealers - Since EV owners will need charging facilities at their homes or workplaces, Nissan dealers will assist customers in the installation of charging facilities for private homes. Charging facilities installed at Nissan dealers nationwide - Before the release of Nissan LEAF in December, 200-volt regular chargers will be installed at all Nissan dealers nationwide, a total of 2,200 locations. In addition, about 200 dealers will have quick-charging facilities. A quick charger provides 80% of battery capacity in less than 30 minutes. For the convenience of Nissan LEAF drivers, at least one quick-charge unit will be available within a 40-kilometer radius throughout the country. Today, Nissan also announced that it is developing a new quick charger that is almost half the current market price of quick chargers available today. This newly developed quick charger, which will be installed at 200 Nissan dealers nationwide by December, is the first to be put into practical use by an automaker. The unit will be available commercially in the future. After-sales service provided by Nissan dealers nationwide - As with conventional vehicles, after-sales service for Nissan LEAF will be provided at all Nissan dealers throughout Japan. Each dealer's service shop will have technical staff specially trained to handle EV maintenance. Company to begin Nissan LEAF nationwide test-drive tour This summer, Nissan will begin the Nissan LEAF nationwide test drive tour in Japan. In addition to test drives, exhibitions and workshops for the general public will be conducted to improve understanding and facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs. The Renault-Nissan Alliance aims to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility. To date, the Alliance has signed zero-emission partnerships with more than 50 governments, municipalities and companies worldwide. Nissan will introduce Nissan LEAF in Japan, the United States and Europe in 2010, followed by global mass marketing in 2012.