Are you buying a 2011 Nissan Leaf? If you're one of the 16,064 lucky people who has already placed a $99 deposit down on one of the most eagerly anticipated cars of the year, Nissan thinks it knows how you'll finance the $32,780 cost of purchase.

Nissan expects most people to lease. And it turns out it's all in the detail of how the $7,500 federal tax credit for zero emissions electric cars is handled.

Nissan Leaf being charged

Nissan Leaf being charged

If you buy a qualifying highway-capable zero emissions electric or ultra low emissions plug-in hybrid, you can claim up to $7,500 off the price of purchase from next year's taxes.

In other words, someone buying a 2011 Nissan Leaf outright not only has to foot the $32,780 sticker price, but they have to wait up to a year to claim back the $7,500 federal tax credit.

In the current economic climate very few can afford to simply wait for a $7,500 rebate.

Nissan agrees that waiting for a rebate is a tough economic burden. So it's offering leasing as an alternative.

And because of the way leasing works, Nissan will apply the $7,500 tax credit to the sticker price at commencement of the lease.

2011 Nissan Leaf spied -- via

2011 Nissan Leaf spied -- via

With no rebates to wait for, and $7,500 dropped from the initial price, Nissan has announced it plans to offer leasing of its base level 2011 Leaf at just $349 a month over a 36 month lease period, after a $1,999 downpayment.

Talking to Christie Schweinsberg from, Nissan North America's spokeswoman Katherine Zachary explained why Nissan's lease scheme will be offered alongside conventional purchase options.

"We know there is a lot of interest in lease because consumers see the value receiving the tax credit up front, but enough are expected to buy that we want to be able to offer both."

While many remain suspicious of lease schemes based on the past experiences of former Toyota RAV4 EV and GM EV1, drivers whose vehicles were crushed at the end of the lease period, this scheme will enable more consumers to afford the cost of making the switch from gasoline to electric.