The recent overhaul of the federal electric vehicle tax credit, which aims to make EVs more affordable, significantly reduced the number of eligible models. To take advantage of the savings, shoppers must choose from a relatively short list of vehicles that are made in North America and meet the new battery production and materials sourcing requirements. Following changes to the guidelines, a dozen electric cars qualify for the full $7,500 credit and even fewer are eligible for the partial $3,500. One alternative to buying an EV is to lease one, and some automakers are offering special deals on EV leases that mirror the credit.
One benefit of leasing an all-electric is that it typically comes with a lower monthly payment compared to purchasing the same model, but shoppers should consider the trade-off: They’ll have to return the vehicle at the end of the lease without the equity and trade-in value that comes with buying a car. For some consumers, this may not be a concern since they choose to lease in order to get the latest tech and features every few years — and this is especially applicable to EVs as their technology, charging and range capability quickly evolves. When it comes to the potential for savings, leasing an EV can offer the benefit of extending the federal tax credit to a wider range of models in addition to other incentives, depending on the brand and vehicle.