New technologies are often released with a greatly inflated price tag that, in comparison to the status quo, can seem bloated when stacked up against a comparable product. Think of flat-screen and LCD televisions: upon release, they were enormously more expensive than the units they were competing with. The same can be said for hybrid and electric cars.
But over time, mass adoption and economies of scale begin to work in favor of the manufacturer and the prices come down. Since hybrids were first released in the United States in 1998, they have seen their prices steadily decline to the point where many are now on a level price playing field with the cars they are competing with.
Now, nearly 16 years since the first Honda (NYSE:HMC) Insight set tires on our shores, hybrids are becoming more popular than ever, and electric vehicles are close behind, winning over fans as prices of gasoline remain fairly north of most peoples’ comfort levels. Edmunds calculated the top 10 most affordable hybrid and electric vehicles for 2014, and here are the top six.
6. Smart ForTwo Electric
The Smart (DDAIF.PK) ForTwo has been the butt of many automotive jokes, and even in industry circles, it’s been greatly panned by reviewers and observers alike. Nonetheless, its diminutive footprint makes the ForTwo an ideal city car, and the electric version promises to be an efficient and frugal means of getting around the city. At $25,750 before federal and state tax credits, it’s also one of the cheapest electric cars on the market, made better by the fact that you don’t have to buy gas.