With the news this week about the Chevy Volt ranging from its low of having to halt production temporarily due to slow sales, to it’s high of the European version (the Opel Ampera) being announced as the European Car of the Year at the Geneva Auto Show, GM and other slow-selling EV makers are surely getting mixed signals. There is clearly an appreciation for the technology and design, but why are consumers not buying?
Many argue that the cost of EVs are just too high. With the most anticipated success in the EV market being the Chevy Volt at a base price of $31,645 and the Nissan Leaf at its lowest price being $27,700 after tax rebates, I can see that argument being true for many people. But what about a less-permanent decision with a lower monthly payment than a purchase, that would also save people money at the pump? What about a lease?
In case you might have considered an EV or hybrid, but wrote the idea off when you saw the price, consider these current lease deals as your opportunity to give it a few-year trial run. Here are this month’s 3-year lease prices on the three most talked about, high fuel-efficient EVs:
1. 2012 Chevy Volt, $2,499 down at signing, $349/mo for 36 months, up to 36,000 miles
2. 2012 Nissan Leaf, $2,599 down at signing, $369/mo for 36 months, up to 36,000 miles
3. 2012 Ford Focus Electric – Although leasing options are not available yet on this model, its base price is only slightly higher than the Volt, so you can anticipate similar lease pricing and terms.
Now consider what you spend in gas each month on your current vehicle versus what you could save in gas by driving an EV, and you may just find that the tradeoff is balanced, if not even more in your wallet’s favor. Not to mention you’ll get to be driving the latest vehicle technology available while taking a stand on the ridiculous cost of foreign oil. The lease route may be a win for a lot of people; and the full-circle economy as well.
Does a lease option sound like a good way for people to try switching to an EV and for auto makers to get their cars on the road? Is the pricing more affordable or still too high for most? Share your thoughts below.