Nissan has expressed its concern that the world’s governments might begin to phase out the incentive programs currently in place to entice consumers towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. Company Senior VP Simon Thomas pointed out in a statement on Monday that governments will not be able to offer sales subsidies indefinitely and he is concerned that when current commitments expire (in three years), the consumer market will be left to its own devices as it pertains to fuel-efficient vehicles.
The company is relying heavily on these incentives to keep its new Leaf electric vehicle modestly priced, at under 30,000 euros (U.S. prices start at $32,780 but with federal tax-credit prices come in at $25,580) in most European markets so that it may better compete with the Prius and Insight vehicles being offered by Toyota and Honda, respectively.
These concerns present themselves amidst a major debt crisis in Europe, and surmounting pressure on EU governments to slash spending as the IMF has pledged to dole out close to $1 trillion to aid Greece and the U.K. is considering 6 billion pounds worth of immediate cuts to help deal with a severe budget deficit.
Refresher: Power for the Nissan Leaf comes from a 107-hp electric-motor that runs on power supplied by lithium-ion cells. On a full-charge, the Nissan Leaf allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. A full charge takes up to 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet. Buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280, or for a lease payment of $349 a month.
2011 Nissan Leaf:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)