Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf: With the high demand for an affordable zero-emmission car Nissan are set to be the first vehicle manufacturer to deliver the world’s first affordable mass-produced, zero-emission vehicle, Nissan will open order books in Europe for Nissan LEAF in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland on 30th July and in the UK from 1st September.

The ordering process is a first step in securing a place on the list to receive the Nissan LEAF, and means Portuguese, Irish and UK customers will be first in line to receive the car in Europe.

The five-seat hatchback Leaf is aimed at the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Nissan intends for UK-built Leafs to start coming off the production line in 2011 after further work has been carried out to install a charging infrastructure for the electric car.

Nissan LEAF deliveries begin in Portugal in January, Ireland in February and UK in March 2011. Since March this year, more than 12,000 customers in Europe have signed up for regular updates on Nissan LEAF’s introduction, and in the US and Japan pre-orders have exceeded 23,000 units since online reservations began in April.

Such high demand has meant the car will launch slightly later than planned in the Netherlands. Sales are now expected to start in June 2011, with pre-orders opening to customers in October this year.

Nissan has said that it will cost about the same as the UK's best-selling hybrid, the Toyota Prius. at araound £23,000, but the main difference is the car claims to have costs for 100 miles of around £1 in electricity with minimal servicing costs. It's also much less than a Mitsubishi i-MiEV which is £33,000 after a Government subsidy.

Nissan has invested £420 million in the plant to build the Leaf and says making this car in the UK will help safeguard the 2250 jobs at it's Sunderland factory.