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Sales of Electric Cars May Get a Boost Thanks to Group-Buy Discounts

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author photo by Lindsay Martell February 2017

Electric cars have tons of the stuff you want, from lessening your carbon footprint to saving at the pump. And if you're in the market for an electric vehicle (EV) now, you may get a super-sweet deal if you opt for a new way to pay: group-buy discounts.

According to EcoWatch, the process is pretty simple. Here's how it works.

Organizations or agencies work with automakers and dealerships to provide a group-buy discount, which gives car dealers greater confidence that people will shop with them for an EV. Most of these markdowns are for thousands of dollars off the sticker price of a vehicle. The kicker? These group-buy EV discount programs are in addition to the federal tax credit people can receive of up to $7,500 on an EV purchase and any state rebate or tax credit offered, too. This means that in many states, the combined group-buy deal, federal tax credit and state rebate can bring a buyer in the area of $15,000 in savings. Cha-ching.

Here are a couple of states utilizing these deep discounts.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Listen up, New Englanders: This is a stellar time to buy an EV. Through February, Drive Green with Mass Energy is offering residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island huge discounts of thousands off the purchase or lease of a slew of EV models including the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, the Ford C-MAX Energi and the Ford Fusion Energi via group-buy prices. Also, any savings in these two states will be paired with $2,500 through a state government rebate.

Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Jonesing for a Nissan Leaf and live in Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C.? You can get in on a group buy via the Virginia Clean Cities partnership. Those wanting a 2016 Leaf can get one at a prenegotiated price plus federal tax credits, which would allow residents of those areas a whopping $12,000 off the sticker price.

Texas and Colorado

Unfortunately, the group discount for EV enthusiasts eyeing a Nissan LEAF in the Centennial State and the Lone Star State expired in December and early January. But both states offered a doozy of a deal that may make a comeback for future buyers. Thanks to Drive Electric Northern Colorado and Smart Charge America and Nissan in Austin, instead of paying nearly $34,000 for a Leaf, the price for group buyers was slashed to just under $12,000 in Colorado and $11,500 in Texas after snagging both federal and state tax credits and a group-buy discount.

And even if your state doesn't offer such stellar deals, electric cars still offer incredible savings. If you buy an EV, the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 applies to everyone, and in states including California, Texas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, Rhode Island, Maryland, Utah and New Jersey, states are offering rebates, sales tax waivers or tax credits off the price of EVs for those who lease and/or purchase an EV.

If you're new to the EV buying experience and feel somewhat overwhelmed by the process, the Sierra Club has put together a streamlined EV guide that includes details about virtually every plug-in car for sale in the U.S. Take the site's short quiz -- where you answer questions about daily driving habits, access to an electric outlet for charging vehicles and your budget -- and it gives you a list of possible choices that deserve your cold hard cash.

With so many EVs to choose from now -- and scores of incentives -- it may be the perfect time to switch.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Sales of Electric Cars May Get a Boost Thanks to Group-Buy Discounts - Autotrader