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Nissan North America announced yesterday the pricing on its 2011 all-electric LEAF. Once federal tax rebates are taken into account, the LEAF will cost approximately $25,000; with some states offering additional rebates, some consumers will be able to purchase Nissan’s electric vehicle for only $20,000. This comes on top of the fuel savings that are inherent in any electric vehicle.

“In the past, one of the biggest roadblocks to electrification has been the upfront cost,” Electrification Coalition President Robbie Diamond said. “But as the technology improves, costs — particularly battery technology — will drop. The LEAF is an affordable car, far more so when fuel cost savings over the life of the vehicle are taken into account.”

The operating cost of a highly efficient internal combustion engine is 10 cents per mile; a pure electric vehicle’s operating costs can be as low as 2.5 cents per mile. At current U.S. electricity rates, it will cost less than $3 to fully charge a 23-kilowatt hour battery, which will give the first commercial electric vehicles a range of approximately 100 miles.

“To truly bring prices all the way down, however, electric vehicles, their components, and the infrastructure they require need to be manufactured at scale,” Diamond added. “That is one of the reasons it is crucial for the government to take steps in support of localized concentrations of electrification. Cities and regions with electrified transportation sectors will not only benefit in and of themselves, but they will help to bring costs down for the entire nation.”

The Electrification Coalition, a group of business leaders representing the entire value chain of an electrified transportation sector, released their Electrification Roadmap in November 2009. The plan called for the creation of localized concentrations of electrification, geographic areas in which all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed, thus providing a crucial first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.

Nissan Motor Company’s President & CEO Carlos Ghosn is a member of the Electrification Coalition.

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