As Japan’s first mass-market electric car, the bubble-shaped Mitsubishi i-MiEV,went on sale it faced immediate price competition from rival Nissan, which said its own electric car, the Leaf, would be on sale from December.

Nissan has said that it expects the Leaf to cost just over $25 000 in the US after government incentives.The Leaf will have a base price of $32 780, but buyers can get a $7 500 tax credit. General Motors has said that it will wait until nearer to the projected first sale date for the Volt of December before announcing the price, but it is thought that the Nissan announcement has set the pace in the market before either company has a car on the road.