Disenchanted Prius owners, take note: Today, Nissan unveiled pricing details for the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV), which will be available for purchase or lease in select markets in December.
The Leaf's list price of $32,780 MSRP may be just out of reach for cash-strapped Americans, but a hefty federal tax credit of $7,500 will knock down the price of the Leaf to $25,280, placing it just at the low end of the mid-size vehicle market. That credit will also be factored into leasing deals, which are expected to start at $349 a month.
State and local incentives -- like a $5,000 tax rebate available in California and a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia -- could bring down the cost even further.
With Toyota still reeling from the bad publicity surrounding its safety recalls, Nissan may be poised to take hold of the green car market. A few other incentives that may nudge you toward the EV:
Freedom from the pump. Because the Leaf is an all-electric vehicle, you'll never have to visit a gas station again. The average "fill-up" for the vehicle will be about $3 for 100 miles.
Zero emissions. While EVs increase demand for electricity, which may or may not come from green sources, the Leaf completely eliminates emissions at the tailpipe, which may help reduce air pollution in congested cities like Los Angeles.
US manufacturing. In May, Nissan will break ground on its vehicle and battery production plant in Tennessee, which will be capable of manufacturing 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 battery packs a year. The move is expected to bring 1,300 jobs to the area.
Ready to snap up your Leaf? Nissan begins accepting reservations on April 20 for the 85,000 people who have already signed up via the company website. In May, Nissan will open up reservations to the rest of the public.