Nissan has announced that the Leaf electric vehicle will cost under EUR30,000 after incentives in most European markets, including the cost of the battery, almost EUR10,000 more than the US price. Nissan said earlier the LEAF would retail in the United States for US$32,780 and up before a federal tax credit of $7,500 ($25,280; EUR20,500).

Most European countries will allow various incentives to be taken at the point of purchase, the exception being the Netherlands.

EUR29,995 will be charged in Ireland and Portugal and Nissan said the pricing undercuts many C-segment competitors, specification for specification.

The UK price will be GBP23,350 with UK government incentives GBP5,000 accounted for. The automaker said a variety of incentives would benefit company car owners by up to GBP11,000 over five years.

Netherlands buyers will pay over EUR30,000 but can benefit from EUR19,000 in incentives in the first five years, including EUR400 of free electricity. The EV would also allow buyers to leapfrog the 10-year wait in some parts of Amsterdam for a parking place, without which a car cannot be purchased.

Left hand drive sales begin in the Netherlands and Portugal in December and RHD sales in the UK and Ireland in February.

Nissan said the Leaf would allow owners to save EUR600 a year in fuel costs compared with an equivalent internal combustion model.

The automaker said EVs offer a 60% CO2 reduction even on today’s electricity generation mix while 92% of the energy is used to propel the vehicle compared with 18% for internal combustion vehicles.

Nissan is forecasting that EVs will account for 10% of global vehicle sales by 2020. It said that 80% of car owners travel under 100km (60 miles) a workday and 70% at the weekend and that government plans to establish workplace or ‘destination’ parking would effectively double the range.

The Leaf is “ideal for 2-car households” but “EVs won’t suit everybody”, executives said at a press conference in England today.

Nissan insisted it will make sure people buy car correctly based on their needs – pre-ordering registration is open with firm orders placed from November.

It expects that 95% of initial owners will use home recharging.

Hawaii among first states to get Leaf