Exciting times ahead for eco-conscious Nissan customers in the US as the company announces the purchase price for the LEAF, the world's first mass-market electric vehicle. For as low as US$25,280 (US$32,780 MSRP minus up to US$7,500 federal tax credit, for which the car is eligible), buyers can have a zero-emissions vehicle in their garages come December 2010.

That is when deliveries start at select dealerships, with a full-on nationwide market onslaught following in 2011. Interested parties can reserve their LEAF places at nissanusa.com from April 20 for a refundable US$99. The money ensures them a place in line when firm orders open in August. A leasing offer will cost from US$349 per month excluding possible state and/ or local incentives.

Part of the product package includes personal charging docks which work with normal 220-volt sockets. A charging dock should cost about US$2,200 but both the equipment and installation are eligible for a 50% federal tax credit of up to $2,000.

The LEAF in basic SV trim level is fitted with an advanced navigation system, Internet/smart phone connectivity for pre-heat/pre-cool and charging control, Bluetooth and push-button start as standard.

"Imagine the possibility of never needing to go to a gas station again," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, "Or of paying less than $3 for 100 miles behind the wheel. Or of creating zero emissions while driving. Nissan leads the industry by offering the first affordable, zero-emission vehicle for the mass market. Nissan LEAF truly is in a class by itself."