Group Buys Boost Electric Car Sales

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 20

2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

In Colorado, three counties joined forces to offer discounted group purchase rates on electric vehicles. Adams, Boulder and Denver were the first counties in the U.S. to run a program of this kind, and the numbers proved its success. This deal made ownership cost of an EV comparable to most cheaper new car models available.

colorado-ev-group-purchase-620

LEAF sales compared over 4 months

Proposals were sent to several dealerships in the area to secure the best deal. A large purchase of 200 cars or more at a time guarantees a substantial cost reduction to buyers. Dealerships may even be compelled to sell at cost to achieve the volume bonuses offered by manufacturers.

Boulder Nissan won the bid and offered LEAF purchases with a $8,349 discount The buyer could purchase a LEAF S for $12,130 after the tax credits. Those with qualifying credit also received zero-percent financing for six years. Free access to DC fast-charging for two years was thrown in as an additional benefit. The SL sold for $14,780 and the SV for $16,685.   (Also see details of this Northern Colorado deal for $9,007 off an S from last November as an example)

In four months, 248 Nissan LEAFs were sold. Previous to the program only 52 were sold in the same time frame. In Larimer county, a comparable program saw sales jump from four LEAFs per month to 26. When surveyed, only 28% of those that took advantage of the program admitted to intending to purchase electric prior to the offer.

Programs similar to this are currently in place for solar energy in the same counties, and have been offered elsewhere for years. Instead of costing the government additional money on incentives, the programs accelerate purchases and stimulate the economy.

This situation seems to be a proven win for all sides involved. It will be a surprise if more groups don’t catch on and begin offering similar deals.

Source: PluginCars

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20 responses to "Group Buys Boost Electric Car Sales"

  1. Alaa says:

    The buyer could purchase a LEAF S for $12,130 after the tax credits.

    AND

    Those with qualifying credit also received zero-percent financing for six years. Free access to DC fast-charging for two years was thrown in as an additional benefit.

    What will the future be like folks?

  2. wavelet says:

    Could you actually explain what is meant here?
    Sounds very strange, and your source doesn’t have any more detail. Sure, quantity purchases give large discount — leasing and rental companies rely on those. However, such purchases usually require all vehicles have same option packages.

    Are the _counties_ is offering discounted prices on these EVs, i.e., they are the legal sellers, or did they simply call on dealers to do so? WHo are the eligible buyers? How do the counties get around the requirements for dealer licensing, and the prohibitions on government being active in private sales?

    1. Assaf says:

      If you have so many suspicious questions, why won’t you send them to Boulder Nissan?

      This is a news blog post, not a Due Diligence document. That is, if you’re honestly trying to find out the details, rather than just trolling.

      I saw the calls for Colorado residents to join the program a few months ago on Leaf owners’ FB groups. Seemed, and still seems, 100% legit to me.

      1. wavelet says:

        ??? Why the personal attack?

        Not trolling (whom would I be trolling, exactly? Noone had published anything troll-able when I made my comment), not a potential customer (don’t live in CO). I simply completely didn’t what the InsideEVs article was saying.

        A municipal government getting directly involved in car sales to the public seemed odd, and certainly noteworthy, so I wanted clarification.

        And yes, I definitely do consider it InsideEVs’s job to make plain anything published here, if the basic facts are unclear (or maybe I missed something major).

        Assaf, If you did understand the article, why didn’t you add an explanatory sentence, instead of just attacking me?

        1. Nix says:

          wavelet — Let my stick my nose in and try to answer this.

          The counties and municipalities are not parties in the sales. The car sale is directly between the car dealership and the car buyer.

          What the gov’ts are doing is bringing buyers and sellers together by getting dealerships to agree to a huge discount, and then the gov’ts promote that price. It is a good alternative to gov’t using direct funding for incentives, while at the same time helping promote local businesses that in turn hire local workers and pay local taxes, etc.

          It is a win-win-win.

          Consumer wins with low price.
          Dealer wins with more sales.
          Local gov’t wins with more green cars, and promoting their local economy.

          ——————–

          We get a lot of crackpots who drop in just to bash the “gubbermint” doing anything at all, and it sounded from your post that you weren’t actually asking because you were going to buy a green car. So understand it is a big red flag when you ask pointed questions when it doesn’t sound like you are actually interested in making a purchase.

          1. TomArt says:

            Thank you for the explanation, Nix. But I am still confused about the headline – where does it come from? Where are the “group sales”? Is it when the dealership puts in a big order from the OEM, in the hopes of selling them all due to the proposed discount?

            I have the exact same confusion as wavelet does, and there was absolutely nothing inflammatory about his comment.

            1. wavelet says:

              I believe it’s not much different than when an online forum member puts together a group buy for the forum, which you’ve probably encountered before: S/he volunteers time to contact suppliers for product X, determining what size of volume discount they’d be willing to give for a buy of N units; s/he publishes this, and sees how many people are interested. If it’s enough, the group buy can go ahead.

          2. wavelet says:

            Nix,
            first, thanks for the simple and coherent explanation 🙂
            Very interesting, because while clearly this helps everybody out, in my neck of the woods AFAIK it would be illegal for the local government to get involved in commerce in this way (even if no public money is involved).
            ——-
            And as to the presumption I had some political anti-government axe to grind, one should be careful about such assumptions.

            This is a global site, and I don’t live or vote in the US; I have not in the past made any political remarks in the comments in InsideEVs, except occasional ones supporting public policy encouraging EVs and mass transit.
            Assaf should in particular have known this: He and I have responded to each other’s comments in the past, and I live in the country he’s originally from, as I’ve noted in the past several times..

      2. TomArt says:

        Holy crap, dude, chill out! There was absolutely nothing inflammatory or trolling about wavelet’s post. I have the same confusion that he does. The headline just does not jive with the contents of the article – there is a major critical link, or more, missing in the storytelling.

        1. For those who do want more details (or clarification about the details) about the EV group buy program, here’s a link (from my organization, SWEEP) which developed an in depth case study and handbook about the program.

          http://swenergy.org/how-to-double-or-triple-electric-vehicle-sales-in-your-community

  3. G2 says:

    Good to see local govt getting onboard.

  4. Sri says:

    For what its worth, I think a Volt is a better vehicle for CO for both geographic and climate reasons. Nissan finance arm may be taking a drubbing given the resale value of Leaf and near absence of the resale market. Hopefully they will developer beefier battery packs when the warranty of Gen 1 Leafs comes to an end, at least holding a floor. Else what hope is there for a 2012 Leaf 4 years down the pike when the battery fries.

    1. Alaa says:

      How can an ICE be better to CO vs an electric motor?

      1. Nix says:

        Two reasons:

        1) The Leaf (and all electric cars) lose range in the bitter cold in Colorado. PHEV’s lose range too, but the ICE means you don’t have to worry about it.

        2) Mountains. Big ones. The Leaf can’t make it to very many ski resorts, or hiking trail-heads, etc that are popular with the Colorado front range people. The Volt can go anywhere, even after fully depleting the battery (a problem for the BMW i3 REX too).

        1. Alaa says:

          Tesla sold more Model S’s in Switzerland so far in 2015 than Mercedes S-Class, BMW 6 series and Audi A7…combined

          That is in SWITZERLAND. It is a very cold country and has a LOT of very high mountains.

          Have you ever seen a lift in any sky scraper that works with an ICE?

          Have you heard of the bulit train in Japan? It runs with electrons. A lot of them.

          Here is the site about CH

          http://electrek.co/2015/10/14/tesla-sold-more-model-ss-in-switzerland-so-far-in-2015-than-the-combined-sales-of-the-mercedes-s-class-the-bmw-6-series-and-the-audi-a7/

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Tesla Model S has a bit more range than a Leaf…

          2. Sri says:

            Here I am trying to have a discourse, you are having an argument. People usually do not come here to smear EVs and have better knowledge about the various options than average Joe. CO in general is a hostile terrain for limited range EVs, your use case may vary, that is the point being made. Also, even though the dealership are giving deep discounts, one has to be mindful of lack of resale market for Leafs right now, esp. when you have 200+ mile EVs are round the corner for 30K.

        2. Alpha777 says:

          Yes, If anyone in PA puts together a BMW i3 REX discount deal, count me in.

  5. James says:

    There are some reasons in Colorado not to purchase a LEAF as an only car, as mentioned above, that is true. However, this group buy is a bangin’ deal, and that’s no joke!

    I don’t hate LEAF, in fact, it’s kind of grown on me. An 107 mile model at that price would definitely be a major consideration if I lived in that area. I mean, I could go on about all the reasons I would choose a Bolt-EV or a Volt over the LEAF, but at that price – I’d shut my mouth and whip out my checkbook.

  6. Johannes says:

    Wait so the SV actually costs more than the SL in this Colorado sale… if so then WTF have we been fed in Cali??