The Nissan Leaf will cost between £24,000 and £25,000 when it goes on-sale in the UK next year, according to an industry source.
This price includes the car's battery pack, which was expected to be available to lease only, and the government's £5000 incentive towards the cost of purchasing an electric car.
The car had been tipped to cost the same as a top-spec Toyota Prius, but it will come in around £2000 higher than the £22,609 Prius T Spirit. Final pricing and specification details will be announced within the next three weeks, although it is not clear whether there will be a cheaper Leaf available without a battery pack that can then be leased.
Demand is expected to outstrip supply for the initial batch of Leafs that will be built in Japan; the company has already had mote than 10,000 customers pay a small deposit as an expression of interest and a similar scheme will be launched in Europe this summer.
Each battery pack is said to have a life of between five and 10 years. Nissan will improve the technology all the time and as more Leafs are produced, the cost will come down. Nissan will break even on the Leaf in the first year and the car has been built to "make money", according to our source.
Production of the Leaf will commence at Sunderland in February 2013 and the plant will build 50,000 units per year on the same production line as the Note and Juke.