That's the simplified argument new EV customers now face following Mitsubishi's decision to start making its i electric vehicle available for lease. The Japanese automaker, which introduced what's known as the i-MiEV overseas to the U.S. late last year, reached an agreement for Ally Financial to offer the i for as low as $249 a month. That's $40 less than lease payments for the Nissan Leaf.
Through Ally, which also has a lease program with General Motors for the Chevrolet Volt starting at $369 a month (some say that makes the car a great bargain), Mitsubishi drivers would pay a $3,498 down payment at the beginning of the 36-month lease, which values the car at its $30,675 MSRP. Earlier this month, Nissan dropped the lease payments for its all-electric Leaf to as low as $289 a month from $349, though it extended the lease term to 39 months and boosted the down payment by $1,000, to $2,999.
In related news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the i four stars (out of five). The break-down is four stars for front impacts and rollovers, three on side impacts. We've got crash test videos below. Two other plug-ins, the Volt and the Leaf, both got five stars overall.
The Mitsubishi i is rated by the EPA to go about 62 miles on a single charge, compared to 74 miles for the Leaf. Mitsubishi has sold 300 i's through the first five months of the year, including a monthly-record 85 in May.
Eco-Friendly All-Electric 2012 Mitsubishi i Available For Nationwide Lease Offer Through Ally
Wed, Jun 27, 2012 - Cypress, California -
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) has selected Ally Financial to be a preferred provider of leasing and financing for the company's breakthrough 100 percent electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i. Consumers can now lease a Mitsubishi i at certified dealers nationwide for lease payments as low as $249 per month** for the base ES model equipped with a convenient high-speed CHAdeMO DC quick-charging port.
As a preferred financing provider, Ally Financial will begin offering leasing for other vehicles in the Mitsubishi Motors' lineup alongside Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America, Inc. (MMCA).
Ally Financial currently plays a significant role in dealer and consumer financing within the Mitsubishi network as a financial services provider. This new agreement (effective immediately) expands upon this role providing a broader set of choices to consumers when making their next vehicle purchase at one of the company's approximately 400 Mitsubishi Motors dealerships in North America.
"We welcome the cooperation from Ally's auto finance team to provide our customers with additional flexibility in leasing and financing our highly efficient, zero-emission 2012 Mitsubishi i, as well as leasing other products in our product lineup," said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc (MMNA). "This will provide small businesses and consumers with even more convenient means to finance their new Mitsubishi Motors electric vehicle, making the Mitsubishi i more attractive to those individuals and companies that want to make a difference by opting for a sustainable and highly cost-effective form of transportation."
"As we continue to expand our automotive financing portfolio, we are pleased to work with Mitsubishi in this new preferred provider relationship," said Jim Kucharski, vice president, Alliance Sales for Ally Financial. "Ally has the nationwide infrastructure and full services capability to complement other financial services providers and deliver additional choice and flexibility to dealers and their customers."
** Payments are for 2012 i-MiEV with Quick Charge package and are based on an agreed upon value equal to its MSRP of $30,675. Monthly payment assumes $3,498 due at signing, including security deposit. Tax, title, license and dealer fees extra. 36 monthly payments total $8,974. Option to purchase at lease end for an amount to be determined at signing. Ally must approve lease. Mileage charge of $0.20 / mile over 36,000 miles. Lessee pays for excess wear.
About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 400 dealers. In November of 2011, MMNA launched the battery-powered electric vehicle Mitsubishi i as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation. This battery-powered electric vehicle technology addresses the need for vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions and support a growing agenda for sustainability. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc. is a leading automotive financial services company powered by a top direct banking franchise. Ally's automotive services business offers a full suite of financing products and services, including new and used vehicle inventory and consumer financing, leasing, inventory insurance, commercial loans and vehicle remarketing services. Ally Bank, the company's direct banking subsidiary, offers an array of deposit products, including certificates of deposit, savings accounts, money market accounts, IRA deposit products and online checking. Ally's Commercial Finance unit provides financing to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries. With approximately $186 billion in assets as of March 31, 2012, Ally operates as a bank holding company. For more information, visit the Ally media site at http://media.ally.com or follow Ally on Twitter: @ally.