As noted in the post “Leaf-ing Around Chicago,” we made the decision to buy a Nissan Leaf relatively quickly. Nissan offered a $10,000 discount off the MSRP of a new Leaf, promoted by ComEd, our local utility, but only for the month of June 2017. That was a big incentive, but June was really busy, so we didn’t get to the dealer until the end of the month, but in time for the discount. I don’t mind telling you what we paid because I think it’s important for people to know that these vehicles can be affordable, and hopefully this great discount will be repeated. With the discount and our trade-in (a perfectly nice Honda Civic Hybrid), plus taxes and fees, our total price was $20K. We will get the $7,500 tax credit as well, which really brings the cost to $12,500. You can’t even get a Toyota Yaris or a Honda Fit for that price!
There is also the total cost of ownership to consider. With an all-electric vehicle, there are no oil changes, no emissions checks, and no exhaust system upkeep. I remember bursting into tears when a mechanic told me what it would cost to replace the catalytic converter on my first car, so it’s quite a comfort knowing I won’t have to face that again.
Yes, I have read about older model Leafs having expensive problems, but as of now I’m not worried about that for two reasons: (1) the battery on the 2017 SV has 20% greater capacity than the 2012 models which are pooping out around now. Assuming we don’t drive like maniacs, this car’s battery should maintain optimal performance longer. (2) I tend to retire vehicles before they reach 100,000 miles. In my experience, repairs get expensive at 80,000 miles, and they’re unreasonable at 100,000, so whether it’s a gas car or electric, I’m in a new car before this point.
There are more reasons to love utility rebates. Please visit our project portfolio to read about a study we conducted that showed the serious job creation/retention generated by investing in energy efficient technology.
Update: Nissan has extended the $10K discount through September 30, 2017! We had to contact multiple dealers to find the model we wanted, so if you’re seriously considering a Leaf, start searching dealer before the last few days of the deal.