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Mike Stevens | Dec 20, 2011

Nissan Australia has confirmed today that its upcoming Leaf electric vehicle will go on sale from June, priced at $51,500 before on-road costs.

Compare that to the slim-pickings EV competition in Australia, and the Leaf enters at $2620 more than Mitsubishi's $48,880 i-MiEV.

The Leaf is a full size larger than the i-MiEV however, and at around 170 kilometres off one charge, its driving range is 15km better.

A bargain, then? That's a matter of perspective - the Leaf is no European prestige car, after all - but with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating (4-Star Euro NCAP for the i-MiEV), a more stylish design and greater interior space, we'd at least call it competitive.

“We’ve stated before that we expect to see meaningful sales volumes from LEAF as a contribution to Nissan Australia’s market growth expectations and zero emission leadership aspirations," Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson said.

“We see LEAF not only as a brand mobilizer but very much an integral part of our passenger car range."

2011 nissan leaf australia 08

If the Leaf's price feels iffy to you, consider that Australia is one of the few countries that does not benefit from a single government incentive in the purchase price or running costs of an electric vehicle.

Still, even with the advantage of tax breaks and incentives, overseas markets have taken a shine to the Leaf.

Nissan says it has sold more than 20,000 in its first year, making it the highest-selling electric vehicle in history.

While the Leaf is still some months away from its local launch, Nissan has had a handful of cars in Australia for nearly a year, and we took one for a spin back in March. Click here for Tony's road-test review of the Leaf.

 

The Basics

The Leaf is powered by a 90kW and 280Nm electric motor, drawing energy from a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Maximum speed is around 140km/h.

There's a driving range of up to 170 kilometres, and a full battery charge will take around 8 hours. The LEAF will be able to regain up to 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes, however.

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