Starting today, as Green Car Reports puts it, "the not-yet-quite-bankrupt State of California is offering $5,000 rebates to residents who buy or lease a ...Tesla Roadster, the $109,000 two-seat all-electric convertible that blasts from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds on the power of 6,831 little lithium-ion batteries."
In truth, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is offering a range of rebates ($2,500-$7,500) for a range of electric drive vehicles. To get the maximum rebate, the state suggests a car like the Nissan Leaf, scheduled for release this December. That's Advantage One for the Leaf. Advantage Two: while Nissan hasn't named a price, it's "targeting a price in the range of other typical family sedans." Advantage Three: Hertz has announced it will rent Leafs, taking reservations starting in April.
Still, 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds is tempting. Presuming you can drive that fast in California.
Now for some grimmer news. California lost 5%, or 79,000, of its industrial jobs between February 2009 and February 2010, according to Manufacturers’ News Inc. Southern California took the hardest hit. "Even though Los Angeles is still the state’s No. 1 city for manufacturing jobs," the San Francisco Business Journal notes, "the Southern California region as a whole lost 56,681 jobs." By sector, lumber, wood, furniture and electronics were particularly hard hit.