Sometimes you need more electric-car driving range, or a cure for all the concern about getting from one charging station to another on a road trip. Or you can get by just fine with a compact car 360 days of the year but need a bigger vehicle—and a tow hitch—for the annual week up at the cabin.
Nissan is offering a perk to Leaf buyers indicating that they understand how just a bit of flexibility might go a long way. It’s including a $350 Turo credit with the sale or lease of any new Leaf.
Turo is a “peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace,” somewhat as Airbnb is for real estate, and it's been seeing a big boost in business with the lack of rental cars this year. The service allows owners to rent out their car, and it allows customers to drive vehicles you might not typically find in rental fleets—like the Tesla Model Y, or Nissan’s GT-R supercar.
2021 Nissan GT-R Nismo
Although the promotion isn’t a great amount in the scope of auto incentives—or the deals that have become a regular occurrence on the Leaf—it’s the way Nissan is framing this promotion that might help turn some prospective EV drivers into daily EV drivers.
Nissan isn’t the only automaker to offer a program like this. Fiat Chrysler offered buyers of the Fiat 500e up to 12 days of free rental cars per year. BMW has also offered to buyers of its ‘i’ cars free gasoline rentals for longer trips—although that program was canceled with no official replacement.
Automakers also need to be careful that they’re offering EV owners gasoline vehicles because that’s what they want or need—not because it’s what they’re offering as service loaners.
2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus
The 2021 Nissan Leaf, with a 40-kwh battery pack, earns EPA range ratings up to 149 miles, while the Leaf Plus earns up to 226 miles.
The nationwide program follows regional pilot programs in Denver, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., and a partnership between the two companies in the past that allowed extended test drives of Nissan models on Turo.
As we pointed out this week in a 2021 Nissan Leaf Plus range test, the Leaf is one of a growing number of models on the market that will provide a driving range of 200 miles or more in commute-style conditions. But if you don’t need those on a regular basis, the base 2021 Nissan Leaf S starts at $32,620. Considering the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, plus other state and regional incentives that might apply, that’s a base price starting around $25,000 for many shoppers.
For now the Turo bucks are only on offer through June 30, 2021, and at a participating Nissan dealer. With Nissan’s Ariya electric crossover arriving soon, the brand might do even better making this an official part of the package for new EV owners.