The Nissan Leaf — the OG of electric vehicles in the U.S. — has become a casualty of tightening battery sourcing requirements under the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Smyrna, Tenn.-built Leaf — among the least expensive EVs on the market — is no longer eligible for a tax credit under new rules that went into effect April 18.
The loss of federal support comes as the aging hatchback struggles to stay relevant in a tsunami of newer, better-designed, longer-range competitors. Leaf sales peaked in 2014 at 30,200. Last year, Nissan sold 12,025 units, down 16 percent from a year earlier. Production of the current Leaf will end mid-decade when a coupe-like crossover replacement arrives.
Acknowledging its predicament, Nissan is adjusting its lease offer.
Nissan has dropped the monthly payment on the base Leaf model to $309 from $329 for a 36-month lease. And the lease down payment is shaved 21 percent to $1,999. The Leaf does qualify for a $7,500 commercial clean vehicle tax credit.
"We're looking to make sure that we're providing good value, but we're also competitive in the market," Nissan spokesperson Brian Brockman told Automotive News.