Nissan has slapped a frighteningly large price sticker on its Leaf electric car. In the UK, the zero-emissions vehicle will cost £23,350 -- and that's after government incentives.
In the UK, the government gives you up to £5,000 to help buy an electric car as part of its strategy to reduce UK emissions. The Leaf qualifies for the maximum amount, meaning the full retail price, as set by Nissan, is an eye-watering £28,350.
This is a bitter pill to swallow considering the price of the car in the US is a mere $32,780 (£22,675) before government incentives. Buy a Leaf there and the US government will bung you a federal tax credit of $7,500, bringing the total price down to $25,175 before tax. With sales tax between 3 and 9 per cent, our Yankee chums can expect to fork over anywhere between $25,930 (£17,940) and $27,440 (£18,980) -- over £4,000 less than us Brits will have to pay.
Britain may be getting a raw deal, but it appears our European cousins have it even worse. In the Netherlands, the Leaf will set you back €32,839 (£28,200). In Ireland and Portugal, that price is €29,995 (£25,760), including government subsidies.
Nissan says the price of the Leaf will fall over time, as its capacity to make its expensive lithium-ion batteries increases. The company aims to build 50,000 cars every year at its Sunderland plant starting in February 2013, on the same production line as the Note and Juke.
UK customers can begin placing orders for the car from July, with the first deliveries arriving here in the first quarter of 2011. The Leaf will first go on sale in the Netherlands this December, with Ireland and Portugal getting it soon after.
Will you be buying one? Is it too expensive? Do its low running costs make up for the high price? Let us know in the comments below.