Leaf, i3, I-Pace incentives boost buying, but leasing remains better for most


by Kivi



The advantages between leasing versus buying electric cars are currently blurred by some especially strong sales incentives.

The Nissan Leaf is currently eligible for 0% APR financing for 72 months, plus a $500 financing bonus. Nissan is also offering a $4,000 rebate in August, which is $1,000 more than last month, and the most seen to date, according to our partner site CarsDirect. The best deal for buying a new Leaf in August 2019 was 0% APR for 36 months, with a $1,000 bonus, the website noted.

Similarly, the BMW i3 is currently eligible for 0% APR financing for 60 months, compared to 3.75% in August 2019.

The Jaguar I-Pace currently offers a choice of 0% APR financing for 72 months or a $5,000 unadvertised credit, according to CarsDirect. A year ago, the best offer was 2.9% APR financing for 60 months with no credit. The difference in financing offers equates to a monthly payment $283 lower than in August 2019.

2020 BMW i3

2020 BMW i3

Jaguar has been fairly aggressive with incentives for the I-Pace, using discounts to target Tesla owners. Some extensive changes to the I-Pace are also on the way for the 2021 model year, but the revamped version isn’t here yet.

On the leasing side, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a good deal. General Motors no longer qualifies for the full federal EV tax credit, but nationally its finance arm is currently offering $7,250 in savings on Bolt EV leases.

Regional deals can be even better. In San Francisco, the base LT trim level is available to lease at $199 a month for 36 months, with $1,599 down, when coming from another lease. That works out to an effective monthly cost of $243, or $7 less than a Honda Fit EX despite the Bolt EV’s $18,000-higher base price, according to CarsDirect.

Leasing are often subsidized and can help soften the steep depreciation with some creative math. Non-Tesla electric cars generally lose value faster than comparable internal-combustion models, although they seem to have adjusted upward slightly over the past couple of years.

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