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Solar Benefits Colorado Program Sees Nissan LEAF Sales Skyrocket

A program in Adams County, Boulder County and Denver creates incentives to buy a package that includes an electric LEAF, solar panels, and a charging system. The Denver area has jumped past other, larger markets to become the #4 sales area for the Nissan LEAF.

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Boulder County, Colorado residents are enthusiastically embracing a short-term program that encourages the use of residential solar with electric vehicles. More than 330 people have signed up so far and the number continues to grow. This program plus other incentives in Colorado for buying an electric car have propelled the Denver-area market from number 15 in the nation, as of last year, to number 4 in the nation as of last month.

The program is called Solar Benefits Colorado and it launched in late August, running through October 31. It launched in Boulder County and has expanded to Adams and Denver counties as well. The deal is a combination of tax incentives and vendors working together to offer package prices at lower cost. The goal is to encourage Colorado residents to purchase electric cars, charging stations for them, and solar power to do it with.

The vendors in this Colorado program are car dealer Boulder Nissan and solar power sales and installation firm SunRun. It combines with the state's incentives for EV purchases along with the federal tax credit for the same. Customers receive about $8,300 off the cost of a new Nissan LEAF and a 15 percent discount on solar rooftop systems purchase and installation costs.

The programs adds onto the two years of free public charging that most Colorado residents enjoy through Nissan's No Charge to Charge program.

Other communities are looking at adding the program, says Damian Herd of Nissan corporate. When asked about the program's success and expansion, Herd said that a similar program in the Bay Area of California is also happening now and the automaker is talking with other cities and counties around the country and openly willing to participate in similar programs wherever they may happen.

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