A less expensive Nissan Leaf could be on tap for 2013.

Nissan is said to be readying a lower priced version of its Leaf electric for the 2013 model year. Nissan is hopeful that the cheaper model will help spur sales after a disappointing 2012.

According to Automotive News, Nissan will launch a less expensive version of the Leaf to coincide with the car's 2013 update. The 2013 Nissan Leaf is slated to begin production in Smyrna, Tennessee in December with retail sales likely to begin in March.

No word on how much the new entry-level Nissan Leaf will cost. The cheapest version of the current Leaf retails from $36,050, not including a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Needed boost

Following a disappointing 2012, Nissan desperately needs a sales boost for the Leaf electric. Nissan originally set out to sell 20,000 units of the Leaf this year but, through nine months, has delivered just 5,212 examples of the plug-in.

Nissan will have the capacity to build 200,000 Leafs in Tennessee per year, although actually production will likely remain well below that figure for the foreseeable future.