Are LEAF Owners Taking Nissan's $5000 Lease Buyout Credit?
I asked the question to some Nissan LEAF owners at SF Bay Area Nissan LEAF Owners group to get their opinion whether they are going to take this credit. Here is how they responded.
I am not making any purchase of an electric car unless it has a range of close to 160 miles. Even with $5,000 off, 70-80 Nissan LEAF range is not satisfying. Also, the public charging stations aren't always reliable. Especially blink stations with QC have the worst record with most down time. As these batteries gets worn down like old cell phones, where they become lifeless not too long after unplugged, it would be even harder to get rid of them. I might consider a used Tesla Model S when after they release the X Model.
That was one opinion, but on the other hand the offer basically pays for a new battery and that makes the LEAF even more competitive. One can keep his LEAF with a new battery. think what Nissan is saying is this. Hey, let us replace your battery and you keep the car. They know they will have to do it if people trade their LEAFs for a new car. And some LEAF owners see it that way too.
"It's interesting to consider as it essentially pays for a new battery. My lease isn't up until 2017 so I have some time to see what happens," replies a user named Brian. But another respondent named David writes that while the offer is tempting, he is going to hold for an EV with more range.
Others, like Rozel, are attracted to plugin hybrids. They point to the range still being an issue and the lack of charging stations in their areas. These people are looking for either plugin hybrids or electric cars with more range.
The last part of the discussion in the group under my question showed that Nissan needs to do more marketing work to raise more public awareness. Here is why.
One person replied that he was not planning to take this $5k credit because $5k isn't making up enough for the depreciation of his LEAF as the battery wears down and he also said Nissan hasn't come out and said much about battery replacement and the cost of it. But he added that he loves his LEAF and will be willing to lease another one again if he can find a good lease deal and any mileage boost with the 2016 model
Now you can see that Nissan needs to do more work to get the word out to at least its current customers because the public may simply not know about the announcement Nissan made last year regarding the cost of the replacement battery. Last year Nissan did come out with info on the cost of replacement. It's about $5k if you give them the old battery.
Thus, I think it's best if Nissan just made an announcement or a letter to its current 2012, 2013 LEAF owners saying, if return your car and decide to trade it in for a new vehicle we have no choice but to replace the batter and then sell again. So why don't you keep the car and let us replace your batter for free. I think this is what this offer is all about.
My conclusion is that what Nissan is offering (add to that the incentives that dealers may offer) is a good deal because one basically gets a free replacement battery. Now, this may not be ideal for everyone as it depends on charger availability in your area and driving pattern.