There are clear signs that electric vehicles are becoming affordable to mainstream car buyers.
At the end of May, Honda announced a new lower price for all-electric Fit EV, which now has a lease price of $259 a month—reduced from $389 per month. It’s a sweet deal. There is no down payment, unlimited mileage, free routine maintenance, collision coverage and even a 240-volt Leviton home charger thrown in. (Charger installation is not included.)
“We are lowering the price because the EV competitive landscape has changed,” Jessica Fini, a Honda spokesperson, told me. “To effectively compete in the EV market, we need a more competitive price.”
The pace of change in the EV price landscape is indeed moving fast. Just three days before Honda announced its lower lease price for the all-electric Fit, Chevrolet said the lease pricing for its 2014 Spark EV, will cost just $199 per month for 36 months (with $999 due at lease).
The magic number seems to be $199 a month, because that’s also the lease price for both the Nissan LEAF and all-electric Fiat 500e. Nissan requires an upfront down payment of $1,999, while the Fiat 500e matches the Spark EV’s $999 down payment. The all-electric version of the Ford Focus, which carries only slightly higher monthly lease than the rest of the pack, is offered at $284 a month, with $929 down.
All of the cars are available in California, but availability for the rest of the country is a crazy quilt. Check with your local dealer and carmakers’ websites.
These vehicles generally go about 80 to 90 real-world miles on a single charge—so in many ways the electric car shopper should choose the best model based on desired vehicle style. The Ford Focus Electric and Fiat 500e usually get the highest marks for looks.
But the available of five different pure electric models—all available for around $200 a month—is unprecedented. It blasts stereotypes and complaints that electric cars are too expensive, and that the market lacks real consumer choice. And regardless of the model you might decide to bring home, all of them produce absolutely zero emissions at the tailpipe—and give owners the opportunity to fuel their car at home for the equivalent of less than half the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
Article by Brad Berman, appearing courtesy ebay Green Driving.