Plug-in electric vehicles have been manufactured long enough to start seeing some of the resources of the global economy – being manufactured long enough at scale to cost less to build, and a competitive marketplace driving down prices even further. Government incentives have played their part, along with the “coolness” of launching a new cutting edge technology scooped up by a wave of early adopters. That part is over, so now automakers and their dealer networks have to target typical car shoppers and tire kickers.
Here’s some of the latest developments in a price war that’s just begun to bring expensive technology more into the realm of typical car shoppers (like me) who aren’t going to lease a Tesla Model S.
- Nissan cut the price of the 2013 Leaf about 18% — March and April saw sales volume more than triple those of previous months.
- Honda cut monthly payments of its 36-month lease from $389 to $259, and is pumping up the number of Honda dealers who carry it from 36 to more than 200.
- Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Fiat, and Chevrolet did some deep discounting when launching new EV models this year.
- The Chevrolet Spark EV is costing less than $20,000 after the federal tax credit of $7,500 is applied, and certain states are offering tax credits and incentives. There’s also a lease offer on the Spark EV at $199 per month for a 36 month lease with $999 down; this is directly competitive with the Fiat 500e lease.
- The Smart Fortwo ED will be offering a separate cost for acquiring the electric car and renting its battery. The US pre-incentive base price is $25,750 including shipping – and that’s not counting the battery for which rental fees still need to be worked out. In Europe, the monthly battery rental is 65 euros, or about $83.
- Mitsubishi and Toyota threw out some huge incentives to get the ball rolling – selective dealers received as much as $10,000 to sell the i-MiEV electric car. Toyota dealers have dropped the sticker price of the RAV4 EV $10,000 in a few markets for limited time periods.
- General Motors is offering cash rebates of $4,000 on the 2013 Volt and $5,000 on the 2012 model. The rebates are being offered from June 3 to July 1, and are in addition to the federal tax credit and available state incentives. You can lease a Volt now for $2,399 down and $269 per month for 36 months.