30 July 2010 by Parkers Team

  • Take part in our electric car survey - would you buy one?
  • Leaf priced at £23,990 with £5k government grant
  • Deliveries for UK cars start in March 2011

This week Nissan opened the order books for its Leaf electric car but are you thinking about going electric?

The Leaf, with a range of just 100 miles after an eight-hour recharge, could be regarded as the future. It has zero emissions, minimal running costs, but if you do buy you'll have to pay up to £5,000 more than a low-emissions model from Toyota or Honda.

So is it worth paying extra? You can tell us what you think in our special survey about electric cars below.

Earlier this week the government announced that it would go ahead with a grant scheme that will give customers a £5,000 discount so the Leaf will now cost £23,990 in the UK including the battery.

If you are interested orders for the Leaf can be taken now if you live in Portugal or the Republic of Ireland and pre-orders for the UK will start from September 1. That means Portuguese, Irish and British customers will be first in line to receive the car in Europe when it launches in early 2011. Nissan Leaf deliveries begin in Portugal in January, Ireland in February and the UK in March.

Since March this year 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.

To make a reservation customers can visit Nissan's website and put a fully refundable deposit of £257. These 'early adopters' will also be given an opportunity to test drive a Nissan Leaf by December, at which point they will need to formally confirm their order. A dedicated call centre for each country has been created to help customers with questions. Call centre details are available on each website.

For their £24k Leaf buyers get a comprehensive level of kit including air conditioning, satellite navigation and a parking camera. Smart phone connectivity will allow an owner to heat or cool the interior of the car remotely via a mobile phone. Under the bonnet is an electric motor that develops 80 kilowatts of power and 280Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 90mph. The electric motor is 'fuelled' by a laminated lithium-ion battery with a power output of more than 90 kilowatts.

For see what we thought of the Nissan Leaf click on our First Drive and for our special electric car poll answer the questions below.