Increasing Incentives TooSales of the Nissan LEAF have been soft lately, and to try to give things a boost and clear some inventory, Nissan has reduced the monthly cost of leasing a LEAF and increased some of the incentives offered:
Nissan started offering Leafs for $219 per month with $2,999 down for 32 months. That’s down from $249 per month earlier in the year.Also, the TrueCar.com auto pricing site says Nissan raised discounts to $3,250 per Leaf in August from $850 in January. (source)
Nissan isn't alone in doing something like that. GM has also been cutting the price of the Volt: "Chevrolet is discounting the $40,000 car by up to $10,000, including a $249 per month lease deal."
This certainly isn't a good sign for electric cars in the short-term, but I still believe that the future is bright. There are many external factors that keep sales low right now, such as the global economy that just won't restart convincingly, and the fact that lots of people are probably waiting in the sidelines and letting the early adopters get the first generation of EVs. Something similar happened with hybrids; the first generation Prius didn't sell nearly as well as the second one, and that makes sense. By waiting a bit people can make sure that the kinks have been ironed out, that they'll get better technology (longer battery range, faster charging) at a lower price. The incentives to wait are much bigger with EVs than with traditional cars, as EVs are still in the 'evolving fast' phase while gas cars are fairly mature.