That article is actually from this source: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/told-you-so-nissan-close-to-profitability-on-leaf/
Most blogs reprint the entire article but give obvious attribution at the top or bottom; SeekingAlpha, not so much.
Told You So: Nissan Close to Profitability on Lea
The batteries must be coming down rapidly in cost.
by MICHAEL KANELLOS: APRIL 30, 2010
How much money will Nissan lose on the all-electric Leaf?
It's been the big question in the car industry. Skeptics have alleged that the company will lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Nissan needs a hit to gain ground against Honda and Toyota, the argument goes, so the company is willing to absorb losses now to gain market share and leadership.
On the other hand, others said that Nissan and NEC have likely managed to squeeze out a lot of the costs related to making the car's battery. The two companies have worked on the Leaf's lithium ion polymer battery, which consists of sheets of active battery material layered on top of each other, for nearly seven years.
Here's our math. The Leaf will retail for $32,780 before federal and state rebates and batteries typically comprise one-third of the cost of electric cars. Right now, conventional lithium ion batteries for cars cost around $900 per kilowatt hour. The Leaf has a 24 kilowatt-hour battery. Under that math, a Leaf battery -- if it were more like a regular electric car battery -- should cost around $21,000. Thus, the Leaf, if it had an ordinary battery, should cost closer to $60,000.... more at Source: http://www.greentechmedia.com
This "math" seems squirrelly. Why assume 1/3 the cost? I would gauge Tesla is about 1/2, Volt about 1/4.
The costs are whatever glider vehicle you choose (choose wisely for weight, aero and desirability) plus battery and motor-controller. The electronics aren't necessarily cheap and that's an item which needs some economies of scale as well. Anyway, the Versa platform on which the LEAF is loosely based might be $10k for Nissan to build. Motor controller - maybe someone here has a better idea than me ($3k?). And I'm totally guessing that Nissan is at the $600/kWh ($14400) with their battery tech after years of R&D write-downs.
So, that's more like 1/2 the cost of the vehicle with my "math". They may plan to get the battery costs down to $500/kWh sometime into the first year of production and perhaps their profitability doesn't occur until the end of 2011. So, the "we're making money at the price we announced" quote from Mark Perry may refer to a year over year number rather than profit from LEAF #0001.
Regardless, Nissan has made my EV grin even larger with pricing and the indications that it can be a money-making venture for them.