Nissan pushes mainstream with $32,000 electric car

Posted by Mike Luttrell

In the boldest move yet for the electric car industry, Nissan is set to offer the Leaf at under $33,000, bringing the final price to consumers to around $25,000 after a federal tax credit.

That will make it the cheapest electric car on the market when it comes to dealerships in December.

"We want to make sure the car is affordable, ready for the mass market and has mass appeal," said director of Nissan product planning Mark Perry in an AP interview.

The auto manufacturer is hoping that 25,000 people will reserve a Leaf before the model is released. Customers can begin putting in reserve orders on April 20.

Production is already underway in Nissan's factory in Oppama, Japan. When it first hits the US, the car will only be sold in select big-market cities like New York and Seattle.

The Leaf has a reported 100-mile range and can be charged with a standard 110-volt home outlet.

With models like the Leaf and GM's Volt - set to cost around $35,000 - electric cars are poised to actually come into the mainstream consciousness instead of remaining a high-concept luxury item.

Nissan expects to sell 50,000 Leaf models ("Leaves") worldwide within the first calendar year.