How sweet can incentives make the 2011 Nissan Leaf? If you're really lucky and bunch together several rebates and credits, you can drive home this battery powered machine for a mere $12,280. Yep, you read that right. For less than $13,000 you could own one of the world's first mass-produced electric vehicles – provided you meet some very select criteria. Interested in finding out how? Read on.
Disclaimer: there are a bunch of "ifs" and "buts" included in the quest to receive this bargain price, but the important thing is that it's actually possible (as Green Car Reports discovered). Here's how it could go down: Starting with the $32,780 list price of a Leaf base model, slash $7,500 off courtesy of the federal tax credit and get down to $25,280. Now, provided that you live in California, you can also lop another $5,000 off the top under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Simply submit your paperwork to the Center for Sustainable Energy and the Leaf's cost almost magically drops to $20,280. But how do we get from here to $12,280?
From here on out, the incentives get much more specific and will begin to seriously reduce the number of people who can get the EV deal of a lifetime. If you reside in one of the eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and portions of Kern), then you are eligible to apply for a $3,000 rebate (PDF warning) for purchasing a zero-emissions ride. Okay, so that's $17,280. Here comes the kicker. For this final incentive, you need to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has apparently agreed to offer a $5,000 allowance for purchasing a battery-powered vehicle if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
And there it is – the $12,280 Nissan Leaf, as rare as hen's teeth. Now... who wants to be the first to give it a try?