Lease prices for the Nissan Leaf have been inching ever downward – a move that is increasing sales – and it looks like some Ford dealers are willing to travel alongside down the rabbit hole. Green Car Reports found two dealers in Sacramento, California that offered 2013 Ford Focus Electric leases for as low as $199 a month this past weekend.

The fine print is important here, since the mileage limit was dropped by 1,500 miles from 12,000 to 10,500 per year. The dealers required at least $2,800 down; one was offering a 24-month lease, one was for a 36-month lease. When you do the math, as GCR did, you find that "in California particularly, the first year of driving comes close to being effectively free." That's one heck of a deal, but if you are not sure if $199 a month is a good deal for this car, you can read our review here.


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  • 27 Comments
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Spec: When you said the car will be "free due to the gasoline savings", I expected to see the numbers come in a lot closer. It isn't there, even when using an EV-friendly calculation to ignore the very substantial downpayment and California gas prices. If you look at a straight-up lease with 0 down, the typical lease is $350/mos, not $130/mos. And if you back-calculate a true lease, it's $4632 annually, which translates into 1,158 gallons, or 8.6 mpg. And that's with $4 California gas. The average American is looking at $3.50/gal, so it's 1,323 gallons / 7.5 mpg. Based on the numbers for the US, it is irresponsible and misleading to suggest the car is anywhere close to "free due to gasoline savings". OTOH, in Canada or Europe, with $8+ gas, the case can be a lot stronger.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      $199/mos with at least $2,800 down is no bargain. Over 24 months, that's a minimum of $167/mos in equivalent lease payments. At this rate, why not push for $6k down and brag about leasing for under $99/mos? Idiots.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        There are always down payments with leases, and don't forget, this is a $36,000 car. Even taking on the dollars you reference, I doubt you can lease many cars of that price, for so little. Lets not be Glass Half Empty...
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I can lease a Chevy Volt, with a higher MSRP, for a lower monthly payment.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Oh. I didn't know it had money down. A drag.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a lot of car for this money. It's a drag about the trunk, but you get so many other things it comes out quite well.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll lease you a Leaf for $1 per month* * Mileage limit 100/year and $40,000 down payment
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Actionable Mango Hmmmm...... seems like a good deal, what about dealer deliver charges?
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      FFE bombed. I'm worried they are going to use the fact that it bombed to avoid electrics. Well, pure electrics anyway. They seem to be quite invested in the 'Energi' PHEVs.
        2000NSX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        How did FFE bomb? It has not even been rolled out yet.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          Focusing on sales is ridiculous unless you put it into the context of production. Ford obviously did not even want to sell it. Not many were made. Do you see any sitting on lots?
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          They product placed it on a Fox comedy show last week, so yeah, I'd say Ford considers it rolled out. It's just it costs so much few are buying it.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          Nothing rolled out. How do you call building a car according to demand a roll out? The Edsel was a roll out as they massed produced them. Ford is doing no such thing with the FJE. Ford Jokus Electric. Azure Dynamics Trasit Connect EV sold more in a year than FFE.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          Yeah it has. It rolled out about a year ago. That's how much it bombed. I've seen two in that timeframe, I see that many Volts in an hour.
          Ashton
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          Actually, its for sale now...
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2000NSX
          FFE was released Dec. 2011, to a whopping 10 sales. Since then another 200-odd have been sold year to date / series to date (+10 cars hardly makes a difference in the number). Parallel to the FFE, Mitsu launched the US-spec (read "larded up") MIEV. So far, the MIEV has outsold the FFE roughly 2.4:1, with 500+ sold. In perspective, the Leaf, PIP, and Volt all sell 500+ per month (Volt *much* higher, of course). Last month, Ford had a "good" month (relatively speaking), moving 59 FFE. This is the best they've done since 89 in May. So yeah, the FFE can be counted as a failure.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Competition in the electric vehicle market is now making these cars affordable(for Californians). With the down payment it ends up being $277 per month for 36mo and $315 per month for 24mo.
      RoyEMunson
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW, not too shabby! :) This will move some EVs off the lot. Goes to show how much more progressive CA dealers are.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, if you want to drive the carpool lane for a few years in a nice EV, this is a good lease deal. And if you commute 10K per year with a low MPG vehicle, getting this car will practically be free due to the gasoline savings.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Looking at the carpool advantage: 250 working days per year, saving 1 hour round trip = 250 hours saved. As above, $2820 annual BEV costs. $11.28 hourly wage breakeven if you save 1 hour per day! This is a much more compelling reason.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        10k miles at 20 mpgc = 500 gallons. California gas @ $4/gal = $2k in annual fuel costs. = $166/mos monthly fuel cost. - $36/mos monthly electric increase = $130/mos maximum monthly lease payment. Oops, it's not actually "free" for my nominal analysis case. Let's try again, with an a priori understanding that the lease offsets the gas in a car that's been paid off. $199/mos lease + $36/mos electricty = $235/mos BEV costs = $2820 annual fuel cost = 705 gallons = 14.2 mpgc maximum. Sorry, but there is NO compact car comparable to a Leaf / CMAX that gets a mere 14.2 mpgc. That's completely ridiculous. 14 mpg is a 4,500+ lb SUV, and nobody gets one of those for commuting. The real comparison car gets at least 30+ mpgc, for no more than $100/mos fuel cost. I don't think the numbers are real, particularly at only 10k miles, even with the "benefit" of highest in the nation CA gas costs.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't say free, I said 'practically free'. Yes, you will be driving a much smaller car. What did you expect for practically free?
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's an incredible deal for this car.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Word up homie. The leaf, volt, and Focus HAVE to be examined when buying (well, maybe leasing) a new car. If you want to make your 'brain damaged' comments here, I would agree. Regardless of opinion of the vehicles, one is still getting an expensive car on the cheap. The volt would still be my first choice (due to my lifestyle and need for range), but just from a value standpoint, all three would have to be considered. Maybe in the end one doesn't buy, but it would have to be on the list.
          oktrader
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          EZ, utterly true. I am today in a Volt for the very reasons you stated. If the size and range/"refuel" characteristic of the car fits your need, Leaf, Volt, and now FFE are great possibilities. I gifted my more-or-less normal mid-size (Altima) to a family member when the time came for a car change. The Volt covers ~85% of my needs on the battery, and just running on the generator is an enormously convenient alternative to renting or swapping to the other vehicle when the need pops up. I spend about $35-40/month in additional electrical bills, plus the ~5 gal of premium fuel at $4.25/gal or so ; I'm spending 0.05-0.06 per mile to propel the car. Maintenance is virtually nil with oil changes every other year. With a $259/mo lease (36 mo), considering all the features on the car, it's truly a deal. Don't know what I'll do at expiration. I do really love the car.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @ Ezee, Oktrader, Always an interesting choice to be made at the end of a favourite cars lease. To buy or not to buy? Obviously, if you are tax deducting your car (avoiding the tax provisions) it's more profitable to simply trade on a new model. However, sometimes your old model is available at a very tempting price, especially if no new model appeals. I had this dilemma with my last Lexus GS 450h. With 260,000 klm showing on the speedometre, but only 5 years old, the Lexus is in perfect condition, but only 25% of it's new value. My daughter has only just obtained her first driving license, (18 years old in Australia), and is dismayed to discover that this will be her first car ! It has the advantage of being the car in which she learned to drive. and is still very safe and reliable. It's a little large, and decidedly uncool, but will be perfect for her first year of driving ! Disappointingly, our local Australian EV manufacturer, has ceased production due to the collapse of Azure Dynamics (and a total lack of government support). Blade Electron EV's were available before the Leaf, and were of comparable performance and quality. The Holden Volt goes on sale in November, and has already pre-sold it's allocation ($ AUS 58,000, no government subsidies !).
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      @spec No! It must be free. I said good day sir!
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