Now that Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) are starting to go on sale, some potential owners may be intimidated by the initial cost of this yet to be proven technology. The Chevy Volt (PHEV) is starting at $41,000 and the Nissan Leaf (BEV) is starting at $32,780 Some may find the initial cost high, which is why the best way to experience an EV may be to lease one.
Aside from the cost advantage of leasing an EV, there may be some advantages in terms of maintenance as well. In an article that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on the price war between the Volt and the Leaf:
Indeed, GM is pushing leasing rather than buying the car. With $2,500 at signing, a three-year Volt lease is $350 per month – making it comparable to the Nissan Leaf, the Volt’s main competitor..
Leasing matters a lot this time around because nobody, not even GM, is sure just how durable or long-lasting the new automotive lithium-ion batteries are going to be. All anyone knows for certain is that they will be costly to replace if they go bad. So a lease deals with that uncertainty – taking the load off the consumer, GM officials say.
In any emerging technology, the first generation may be a bit buggy...which is why it could be nice to keep the responsibility of ownership in the manufacturers hands.
The biggest thing to keep in mind about a lease is how many miles you drive on average. There are penalties on leases for driving over the defined mileage limit. This is why it would be hard for me to have a lease since I have an outside sales job that requires me to drive a lot. The mileage limit may be less of an issue for Leaf leasers. Because the Leaf has a shorter range (lack of gasoline backup), it is less likely that leasers would encounter the lease mileage limit, unless Nissan keeps their lease mileage limit shorter than Chevy does.
If you do want to buy an electric car, you may be curious about electric car payback (here's a hint: it's more about how it makes you feel, not how it affects your pocket book). If you aren't willing to buy an electric car, why don't you consider a lease?
This Bloomberg article discusses the lease options for both the Volt and the Leaf, which is laid out below.
Here are the 36-month lease options for the base models of each car:
Initial Payment: $1,999
Monthly Payment: $349/month
Initial Payment: $2,500
Monthly Payment: $350/month