Electric cars keep getting more affordable over time. The Chevrolet Spark EV just went from a MSRP of $26,820 to $25,995. In practice, you can get a federal incentive of $7,500 and in some states, such as California and Maryland, you can get an additional state rebate ($2,500 in California, $2,300 in Maryland). On top of that, Chevrolet is offering further cash incentives: $1,000 in California, $1,200 in Maryland, and $3,500 in Oregon. This means that if you live in one of those states, you could drive away on electrons for as low as $14,995. And you also get other perks, such as access to HOV lanes in California and Maryland.
And if leasing is your thing, there’s also a $139 per month “sign-and-drive” lease for a term of 39 months, with $0 due at lease signing, including security deposit but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Pretty cheap, especially if you add the fuel savings, since charging up is so much cheaper than buying gasoline (GM estimates the fuel savings to be about $83 per month compared to a gas vehicle doing 24 MPG highway, and with electricity at 12 cents per kWh). For some people that’s too much, for others too little, but let’s just take it at face value; A $139 lease minus $83 in fuel savings. That’s not a very expensive set of wheels!
The Spark EV is very energy-efficient:
119 MPG-equivalent combined, 128 MPG-equivalent city, and 109 MPGe highway. Those are impressive number, even for an electric car. For comparison, the original Nissan LEAF is only rated at 99 MPGe combined.
Driving range is estimated to be 82 miles with the EPA’s methodology. For comparison, the 2013 Nissan LEAF gets 75 miles on the EPA test. The 21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, made by A123 Systems, has a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.
Unfortunately, the Spark EV isn’t available everywhere yet. You can find it at select Chevrolet dealers throughout California and Oregon, and select Chevrolet dealers in Maryland will have it pretty soon, beginning in mid-2015.