2012 Nissan Leaf Electric Cars Offered At Up To $5,000 Off

2012 Nissan Leaf electric car - net pricing shown on Nissan website

2012 Nissan Leaf electric car - net pricing shown on Nissan website

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If you're in the market for a 2012 Nissan Leaf, you may find some surprisingly good deals available on the highest-volume battery electric car sold in the U.S.

Sales of the Leaf this year have remained far below the pace needed to hit the company's sales target of 20,000 Leafs in the U.S. by the end of next March.

And when sales lag, prices often come down.

First Nissan rolled out monthly lease prices of $289 and $319 for low- and high-end Leafs, respectively.

Now some California and Washington dealers are offering major discounts off the listed Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices, or MSRPs.

Take North Bay Nissan in Petaluma, California, and Fontana Nissan in Southern California, which have been among the most aggressive Leaf distributors since the introduction of this model.

North Bay Nissan delivered the very first Leaf sold in the U.S. in December of 2010, and Fontana was one of the first dealers to offer below-MSRP pricing for early 2011 Nissan Leaf orders. 

Now, both dealerships are advertising 2012 Nissan Leaf SL models at fully $5,000 off the MSRP of $37,250. 

With the commonly available $7,500 Federal tax credit and the $2,500 California clean-vehicle purchase rebate, this brings the cost of a 2012 Leaf down to about $23,000--which at least one analyst considers to be the sweet spot for electric-car pricing.

Some regions of Southern California have additional local or regional clean-air incentives that can bring the purchase price down further, very close to $20,000.

Campbell Nelson Nissan in Seattle is offering a somewhat different kind of discount: a 39-month lease on a 2012 Nisan Leaf SL for 12,000 miles a year and zero down payment at $369 a month with a Level 2 charging station included, or $345 a month without.

If your local dealer will not match the prices from Petaluma, Fontana, or Seattle, those dealers may be interested in delivering a new Leaf right to a buyer’s door beyond their local region (for an additional fee, of course).

So if you're debating the purchase of a 2012 Nissan Leaf, now may be a very good time to take action.


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Comments (16)
  1. I hope EV Enthusaist see this aricle.

  2. yes i did. but it doesnt have anything to do about our previous discussion. other than to point out that evs are more expensive.

    however, i am not sure that this will increase 2012 sales, but it might.

    i think the main reason for the slowdown is the announcement of the 2013 features.

    so the main question is it worth 5,000 to them or not ? obviously at some price break, they will sell the remainder.

    but i suspect if one waits a bit longer, they may be able to get more than 5,000 off.

  3. Well, $5k off MSRP, plus $7,500 tax credit and $2,500 CA rebates. That is $15K off MSRP. That price is competitive...

  4. if you qualify for 7500. many, many people buy new cars with a heckuva lot less income.

    and again, it is not just 50k salary. it is 50k adjusted gross income.

    it will be interesting to see whether people choose to wait for 2013 or buy a discounted 2012. and just how much the discount will go to.

    very seldom do they start off with the highest discount. but at least now, someone is more apt to get the car with the color, etc. that they want, as opposed to waiting till the last, and being stuck with whatever is left.

  5. AGI is pretty close to actual income if you are salary based. Unless you have huge Capital Gain loss and interest/dividends... The other major "deduction" on AGI are things such as moving expense, education deduction...etc. Things such as charity and mortgage aren't part of AGI...

    If you make less than $50k in AGI per household, then your best option is to buy used cars, NOT $20k new cars...

  6. AT this price, EVs are absolutely competitive. With California $2,500, it will pay over 8 months of your leasing payment out of the 36 months term...

  7. North Bay Nissan in Petaluma has a lot of Leaf(Leaves) available. I also see lots of them (Leaf) in Sonoma County, CA.

  8. Regardless of price,, most people will wait for more range - 40 to 80 miles is just not enough.

  9. Yeah, that only covers about 85% of commutes in the U.S......

  10. What is your "daily" commute range? If you drive more than 80 miles a day, then you are the minority. 80 miles a day for 5 days week and 52 weeks is more than 20,000 miles per year... That is just commuting miles...

  11. Jeff, for a "second commuter car" our Leaf is totally functional for either of our regular work commutes of less than 35 miles TOTAL each working day. We have many friends who have commutes less than even 10 total miles a day, so even the Mitsubishi i would actually "work" for them on a daily basis.

  12. What you call a "commuter car" is perhaps more properly called a car with very limited range which will decrease at variable rates, depending upon factors we consumers are still in the process of learning.

    Such a car should not cost more than $15k at the time of purchase, before any credits.

  13. okay, call it a "nice and smooth and quiet" commuter car then...

    No $15k car can match the Leaf in smooth and quiet department. None of them can save gas as much as the Leaf or accelerate 0-30mph as fast as the Leaf...

    Most people only need "limited" range daily. If you need longer range on rare occasions but don't want any car to back it up, buy a Volt then...

  14. If you only have one car, which I would guess is the case with many whose car-buying budget is around that price level, range capability is a big factor. Even if people don't usually drive 100 miles each day, there are days when they will want or need to.

    Any car at the $15k price level will have tradeoffs. For an EV, the limited range factor would be offset by those benefits you mentioned - smooth, quiet, peppy performance and no pollution, no gas cost. For a first time buyer, these things could very well cause one to rationalize away their range issues and go for it.

  15. Hmmm... It MIGHT make sense for SOME buyers. But a couple of points to consider...

    1) It's a federal tax CREDIT. You still pay sales tax on the full price of the car and use the full $7.5K on your annual tax form IF you have $7.5K of federal tax on your 1040, right?

    2) I think most Northeast buyers are holding out for the 2013 model which offers the faster 6.6 kWh charger on-board and heated seats. But did Nissan announce a compelling price that is competitive to other EVs?

    3) Did Nissan ever address concerns of battery capacity/lifespan in hot/cold climates?

  16. The 2012 Leaf does have heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and it has additional battery temperature technology over the 2011 (which is what we have, 8 - (

    The faster charger will be nice, but we have never had any problem charging our 2011 Leaf fully overnight on an L2 system.

    This does make the 2012 with these improvements cheaper than what all of us 2011 adopters paid by at least $2000.

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