The advantages between leasing versus buying electric cars are currently blurred by some especially strong sales incentives.
The Nissan Leaf is currently eligible for 0% APR financing for 72 months, plus a $500 financing bonus. Nissan is also offering a $4,000 rebate in August, which is $1,000 more than last month, and the most seen to date, according to our partner site CarsDirect. The best deal for buying a new Leaf in August 2019 was 0% APR for 36 months, with a $1,000 bonus, the website noted.
Similarly, the BMW i3 is currently eligible for 0% APR financing for 60 months, compared to 3.75% in August 2019.
The Jaguar I-Pace currently offers a choice of 0% APR financing for 72 months or a $5,000 unadvertised credit, according to CarsDirect. A year ago, the best offer was 2.9% APR financing for 60 months with no credit. The difference in financing offers equates to a monthly payment $283 lower than in August 2019.
2020 BMW i3
Jaguar has been fairly aggressive with incentives for the I-Pace, using discounts to target Tesla owners. Some extensive changes to the I-Pace are also on the way for the 2021 model year, but the revamped version isn't here yet.
On the leasing side, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a good deal. General Motors no longer qualifies for the full federal EV tax credit, but nationally its finance arm is currently offering $7,250 in savings on Bolt EV leases.
Regional deals can be even better. In San Francisco, the base LT trim level is available to lease at $199 a month for 36 months, with $1,599 down, when coming from another lease. That works out to an effective monthly cost of $243, or $7 less than a Honda Fit EX despite the Bolt EV's $18,000-higher base price, according to CarsDirect.
Leasing are often subsidized and can help soften the steep depreciation with some creative math. Non-Tesla electric cars generally lose value faster than comparable internal-combustion models, although they seem to have adjusted upward slightly over the past couple of years.