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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