[ad#post_ad]One of the more dramatic elements of Nissan’s Leaf EV pricing announcement is the remarkably low lease price of $349 per month. Consider that the MINI E is being leased for $850 per month, and the Leaf is a much more-refined, feature-filled and road-ready vehicle.
Also take into account that the average driver driving 1000 miles per month, at $3 per gallon of gas, and 25 mpg, will save about $100 per month in fuel costs by using electricity.
So how has Nissan created such a striking number?
The trick is that they have incorporated the $7500 federal tax credit into the lease payment.
In the case of the Leaf, when a person leases the car, it is actually being bought by Nissan, who will then get the $7500 tax credit from the government.
“Since Nissan is technically the owner of a vehicle that is leased,” says Nissan spokesperson Katherine Zachary. “Nissan will receive the $7,500 tax credit.”
“Nissan will apply the benefit of that tax credit into the lease price, which is why we’re able to offer the $349 lease price,” she added.
Aside from state taxes, which the $349 payment doesn’t include, monthly lease payments are otherwise composed of two main components; the depreciation payment, and the finance payment. Nissan hasn’t disclosed the the Leaf’s 36 month residual value, nor the APR of the deal’s financing.
If there were no tax credit, the Leaf would lease for $558 per month.
BMW has not offered to contribute the $7500 tax credit into its $850 per month MINI E lease for the current 450 US drivers. They have offered current drivers, one of which I am, the opportunity for a second year lease at $600 per month, with the option to lease the upcoming BMW Active E electric 1-series after that.
It isn’t clear if BMW will be receiving the $7500 per vehicle tax credit for the MINI Es, and BMW spokespersons have not yet responded to requests for comment.
GM having not yet priced the Volt, also has the opportunity to price the tax credit into a creative lease as well. We shall see.
For what its worth, I declined a second year lease on my MINI E. For me its Volt or Bust!