Want Govt To Pay For Half Of Your Electric Car? Try Estonia

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2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

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Some electric-car makers (they know who they are) tend to quote base prices after subtracting the U.S. Federal income tax credit of $7,500.

We don't do that here, but that practice would be even more tempting in Estonia--which gives a whopping $22,900 (18,000-euro) incentive on every electric car sold in the small Baltic republic.

It may not go quite as far as you might expect, since in Estonia, a new Nissan Leaf costs $50,900 (39,990) versus its U.S. base price of $35,200.

Further distorting the comparison, the Estonian price includes value-added tax, whereas the U.S. price is quoted before state and local sales taxes. 

Still, the Estonian credit--which is limited to a maximum of 50 percent of the vehicle price or 18,000, whichever is lower--cuts 45 percent off the price of that Leaf.

That's a good deal, and one we suspect many U.S. electric-car buyers would love to have--whether for the Leaf or any other zero-emission battery-electric vehicle.

Nissan Leaf €18,000 incentive shown on Nissan website for Estonia

Nissan Leaf €18,000 incentive shown on Nissan website for Estonia

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News on the Estonian incentive comes courtesy of the Spanish-language site forococheselectricos.com, which covers electric-car topics across a broad spectrum.

The site notes that the credit also applies to the electric Peugeot iOn, which is a relabeled Mitsubishi i-MiEV (sold in the U.S. as the Mitsubishi 'i'), giving that car a price of just $21,600 (17,000) after the incentive.

Even better, it suggests, the eagerly anticipated Renault Zoe electric coupe--not yet released--would cost only $12,700 (10,000) after the maximum incentiv of half the purchase price.

While the Zoe hasn't yet arrived, the streets of Tallinn, the Estonian capital, apparently have a number of electric cars on them--including roughly 500 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs acquired to offset carbon-emission fines for the country.

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