Electric-car boosters offer Minnesotans a rebate

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Electric-car boosters offer Minnesotans a rebate

March 10, 2016

Consumers like electric cars … in theory.

Who wouldn’t dig a car that is dead silent, spews no noxious fumes, is eco-chic and can be fueled simply by plugging it in for the night, like an iPhone?

But a number of factors stop would-be buyers short. Higher sticker prices are one major snag, even though electric cars end up being cheaper to maintain and operate than gasoline-powered vehicles in the long run.

Now, a local nonprofit is attempting to goose electric-car sales with sharply reduced pricing.

The nonprofit, Drive Electric Minnesota, does not itself sell electric cars but has teamed up with a local Nissan dealer to offer a steep discount on the Leaf electric-car model.

Consumers get the discount much as they might get a killer deal on chicken thighs at the supermarket: by brandishing a coupon.

Through the end of March, Drive Electric Minnesota is offering vouchers good for a big Leaf discount at Kline Nissan in Maplewood. Those who sign up on the nonprofit’s site typically receive the voucher by e-mail within a few days.

The deal applies only to a particular version of the 2016 Leaf, called the SV, but the rebate’s math is is attention-grabbing: The car, with a sticker price of $35,420, drops to $29,107 with the voucher.

When factoring in a federal tax credit available to all electric-vehicle purchasers, the damage on a Leaf is $21,607, or about 40 percent off the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

The voucher is also good for those wanting to lease a Leaf instead of purchasing one outright, though the math works out a bit differently.

Jukka Kukkonen, a Drive Electric founding member, said he pays about $315 a month to lease his 2016 Leaf and calculates that under the rebate program, he would pay about $45 less a month.

SOURCE:  Pioneer Press

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