As EVs begin to hit the market from mass automakers buyers may be unwilling to outright buy into the new technology. Some suggest that a lease option could be beneficial and a way to ease buyers into the new technology. Nissan has suggested that they will utilize a lease strategy for the Leaf EV when it comes to market and now Toyota appears to be following along.
Toyota's Bill Reinart explained the companies plan in an interview with CNN Money. As Reinart explained, Toyota intends to lease its first EVs as they hit the roads in 2012. The company will lease the vehicle on a pay per use basis. This system charges customers based on how much the vehicle is used and driven.
The pay per use system does have some advantages. Potential buyers do not have to foot the bill of the electric vehicle upfront and forego paying for the expensive batteries within. Buyers are also guaranteed that they will not have to pay for costly battery replacement in the future. Additionally, choosing to drive an electric vehicle does not have to be seen as a risk into unproven, untested technology.
Some of the first EVs from major automakers will hit the roads here in the states later this year and plans must be in place to sell or lease the vehicles soon. So far the most utilized approach appears to be a lease or partial leasing program. Automakers will likely eventually shift over to a full buying program once consumers understand and accept the technology of EVs.
Source: CNN Money