Nissan‘s electric vehicle the Leaf will cost £23,350, around £10,000 cheaper than the Mitsubishi‘s recently announced electric I-Miev, which is priced at £33,699.

The price of the Leaf, which goes on sale in February 2011, is after Government incentives of £5000 and includes the battery.

Full production will not ramp up until 2013, which means the UK will only have 2000 units to sell in the first year. Longer term volumes have not been announced. There will be a 50/50 retail fleet mix.

Paul Willcox, Nissan UK managing director, claimed “fleets already want the car” and that conversations were happening “at the highest level” in car fleet and leasing companies.

A Nissan spokesperson said fleet could easily take up more than half of sales but that it was important to get retail buyers “on board”.

The five-seat vehicle will have a range of around 100 miles and performance to rival a 1.6-litre diesel car. Nissan has always promised it would price the revolutionary model at a similar level to the equivalent diesel hatchback, but this is the first full electric model with a price to tempt corporate buyers, whereas previous EVs have been troubled by huge list prices that were justified by reduced running costs.

Leaf drivers will benefit from zero Vehicle Excise Duty and an exemption from company car tax until 2015, subject to a change in Government policy.

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