Leasing is something that still makes a lot of people a little leery. It is almost considered a dealer gimmick because most people don’t really understand how a lease works or why your payments can end up being considerable less than a financed vehicle. The trade offs for a lease, like mileage limitations and damage, can also cause a lot of people problems when life takes an unexpected turn. That all said, in one case a lease could make a lot of sense—say when you have and electric powertrain and batteries that might need to be replaced in “x” number of years. Mitsubishi is going to give their customers a chance to lease the i MiEV in Japan with a little twist.
The twist is that in Japan you will only be able to lease the i MiEV from Mitsubishi. There doesn’t seem to be an official stance from Mitsubishi as to why they have chosen to do this, but maintenance and Japanese subsidies for electric vehicles are both likely candidates. The lease package in Japan will include 24/365 road service and there is a plan to have EV charging stations available at all of Mitsubishi’s domestic-market sales outlets.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car - interior - December 2008
No matter what the cause of Mitsubishi’s decision on the leasing, I think it makes a lot of sense. Consider this, you want to try out an electric car for your lifestyle, but are a little unsure of how long the batteries will last or if you could sell it later down the road. If you could lease the vehicle for a lesser payment and then hand it over at the end of a specified period with no questions asked would it make you considered the electric vehicle more seriously? Food for thought indeed.
[Source: Inside Line]