Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has announced that the state will offer a $2,500 tax rebate to buyers who snatch up the first wave of electric vehicles (EVs) headed to the Volunteer State. The rebate only extends to the first 1,000 EVs sold there and is expected to help boost Nissan Motor Co. with its launch of the battery-powered Leaf this fall. Bredesen's surprise announcement came during the Fuel Solutions Forum hosted by the Tennessee Valley Authority. U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander was on hand for the event and displayed his fondness of EVs by admitting that he's currently in the process of buying a Nissan Leaf to replace his current commuter car, a Toyota Prius.

Tennessee's $2,500 rebate, combined with the federal government's $7,500 tax credit, effectively drops the price of the Leaf from its reasonable MSRP of $32,780 down to a bargain-basement $22,780. Nissan said that the rebate will be provided by its dealerships in Tennessee and will be applied at the time of purchase. Tennessee, which is home to Nissan's U.S. headquarters, is on the Leaf's early release list and local Nissan dealerships have already begun taking orders for the "game changing" EV. The Leaf should reach showrooms and land in the driveways of Tennessee's early EV adopters by year's end.

Thanks to Roy B. for the tip!

[Source: AP, Detroit News]

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