Local assembly allowing revised trim and equipment specifications has resulted in Nissan lowering the starting price of the Leaf EV in the US 18% to $28,800, before federal and state incentives.

That’s for a new entry level S grade which the automaker said is the lowest priced five passenger electric vehicle sold in the US. Depending on location, some buyers may pay as little as $18,800 after tax credits, putting the EV on par with petrol-powered vehicles of its size.

“Nissan’s objective for the Leaf has always been to produce an affordable zero-emission vehicle for the mass market, and the 2013 line is a prime example of that commitment with increased value at every trim level, making it more accessible for more people,” the automaker said.

Eligible buyers can get a $7,500 federal tax credit and some states and municipalities offer additional incentives. California residents can get a state rebate of $2,500.

Additions for 2013 include 17-inch alloy wheels and leather interior for SL versions, optional ‘around view monitor’ and seven-speaker Bose energy efficient audio system. Now standard on SV and SL models is a 6.6 kW onboard charger that “significantly reduces” 220V charging times.