By on August 10, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

With Nissan Leaf sales falling like autumn foliage, a few enterprising EV fans hope to reverse the trend (or at least slow it) through group discounts.

After a Colorado group negotiated a 248-vehicle Leaf purchase for the you’re kidding me price of $12,130 per unit, other groups now wants a piece of the cheap Leaf action. In Montreal, 2,500 Quebec residents just signed up for a reduced group price, while a Wisconsin group negotiated a similar discount.

As one of the oldest EVs on the market, Leaf sales peaked in the U.S. in 2014, falling by half since then. Range is a problem — base models go 84 miles on a charge, and Nissan only just added a battery upgrade that offers 107 miles of electric driving. In an attempt to boost sales, Nissan offers free public charging in 38 U.S. cities.

Slightly boosted range and free juice hasn’t helped U.S. sales, but they’re on the rise in Canada, a relatively small market. First reported in Quebec’s La Presse, a Montreal Leaf owner wants to negotiate a better group price through a combination of dealer, manufacturer and government incentives. Bruno Marcoux patterns his efforts after last year’s buy by Colorado’s South West Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), which knocked $8,349 off the price of a base Leaf, in addition to state and federal tax credits.

As of yesterday, over 2,500 people were signed up for the group discount. Negotiations with Nissan Canada are ongoing, but Marcoux hopes to get the price under $20,000 CDN. To put that number of would-be buyers into perspective, it’s double the number of Leaf sales in Canada last year, and close to the best sales month the Leaf ever had in the U.S.

According to Hybrid Cars, a group-buying program in Wisconsin just negotiated a deal that lowers the Leaf’s price to $14,300. “Rev Up Wisconsin” is a partnership between two electrical utilities and two Madison Nissan dealerships.

The next-generation Leaf likely won’t appear until 2018, but when it does, expect a range of more than 200 miles. By that time, 200-plus mile EVs with prices in the $30,000 range won’t be a pipe dream anymore. The Chevrolet Bolt enters production this fall, with Tesla’s Model 3 following in late 2017.

[Image: Nissan]

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20 Comments on “Group Buy Discounts: The Nissan Leaf’s Last Hope?...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    $12K is very tempting as an extra car – it’s essentially free. If you were to buy a $12K Leaf to replace your daily commute of say 40 miles R/T daily, you would essentially save about $100/month in energy savings and cheaper maintenance costs. So a payback within a decade, ignoring interest costs, which should be minimal.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree. I could see this as an interesting strategy, Leaf as the secondary/commuter/beater and something else as a primary automobile.

      • 0 avatar
        schild1987

        This is a great strategy. It works well for us. We drive my Chevy Spark EV (which I got for a screaming good $98 a month lease deal) around town and on any trip that is less than 80 miles round trip. Then, when we need to go out of town, we take my wife’s Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Very rarely would a two person household need two gas powered cars.

    • 0 avatar
      garuda

      heck yeah, I’d be down for that if my commute was about 40 a day.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    $12k was the sum total of my lease payments on my former 12 Leaf. I’d say that’s about what a Leaf is worth new now, which is why they’re not selling.

    Terrible depreciation really takes the shine off paying any more than that.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    That’s using the $7,500 right?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    A leaf would make a great 3rd car for a HS kid, drive all week to school and back for next to nothing and how much trouble can a leaf cause unless you forget to plug it in.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      +1 – What could be better or a teenager than a Leaf. The limited range compared to an ICE vehicle is actually a plus. I have 3 kids all too young to drive for a few years but if/when I reach the point that they need a car to get to and from school, work, activities, etc. – they’re getting some kind of an EV like the Leaf.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      More than that, how much trouble can the kid *get* in with such low range? Very little, I’d imagine.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @carlson fan:

        The problem is that the Leaf’s range is effectively unlimited. On a long trip, a 30-minute quick charge gets me going again. I’ve gone from Boston to Vermont and up the Maine coast from Boston to beyond Brunswick. I have a 100-mile range, so you can definitely make some long trips with it.

        With some Leafs, if you forget to plug it in, you get a text and/or email. Mine does that, so the times I forgot to plug it in, it let me know and I was able to plug it in.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    This is good to see. The more EV’s like the the Leaf out on the roads the better. I firmly believe that once people have the opportunity to experience an EV they’ll be hooked for life. They really do sell themselves and for 95%+ of the trips most people take in their cars the current crop of EV’s are vastly superior to any ICE vehicle. In my lifetime they’ll never fully replace ICE vehicles but even with current battery tech. they have the potential to become more than merely a niche vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Fine with me, unless the increased demand for nat gas to make electricity increases my home heating costs. Then I’ll be grumpy.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        All the electricity we save by not refinfining oil into gas we can use to power our EVs. My number is 7 Kwh for 1 gallon of gas just to refine. My Volt will go almost 30 miles on that on that energy. Your ICE vehicle hasn’t even left the garage.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This would be a great car for me…if I had a garage.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    With the Bolt just months away, the great sell off of under-200 mi range EVs is on! Not all manufacturers are as awake at the switch as Nissan though. I’d hate to be a dealer trying to peddle, say, a Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive right now.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Most of Canada has very cold winters. Most of Colorado too.

    Except for very limited situations, how practical is an EV in such places when they require normal winter heating and defrosting plus their batteries also require heating to avoid damage. Seems EV use – other than Tesla – is limited to very short commutes/city.

    And what happens to the EV market when guv decides to stop the large subsidies that make EV’s appear to be a bargain – other peoples’ money.. Solar collapsed in various European countries when guvs decided to pull the promised subsidies and it’s now happening in the US too as various jurisdictions have stopped buying expensive solar power from customers.

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