Nissan Motor Co. will start taking customer sign-ups in April for its new Leaf electric car. Shipments will begin in December. The five-passenger sedan, which has zero emission and can go 100 miles on a charge has been promoted around the country in recent months.
Nissan received $1.4 billion in federal government loans to build the Leaf and its the battery packs in Tennessee. It will go on sale in Nissan showrooms simultaneously in the U.S., Japan and Europe.
Nissan, which is anticipating about 20,000 potential customers to sign-up to purchase the vehicle, will announce the price for the Leaf in April. It’s expected the Leaf will cost about the same as the base-level Toyota Prius hybrid, which starts at $22,800.
The Leaf’s pricepoint will make it more accessible to the general public than other electric cars on sale today, like the Tesla Roadster, the battery-powered sports car that retails for $109,000.
Nissan will build the Leaf in Japan until 2012. Then production of the vehicle and its lithium-ion battery packs are scheduled to start at Nissan’s plant in Smyrna, Tenn., outside Nashville.
The Leaf and the electric Chevy Volt, also scheduled later this year, will be eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credits.
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