For those eagerly awaiting an electric car that won’t break the bank, Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) has answer: the electrified version of its Spark compact car, after the deduction of the $7,500 federal tax credit, will come in below $20,000. With a retail price of $27,495 without the tax credits or other perks, the Spark is among the cheapest EVs hitting the market.
If you do not want to commit to purchasing the vehicle outright, Chevrolet is offering a three-year lease, with $999 down, at $199 per month — matching the leasing terms of its equally petite rival, the Fiat 500e. In comparison to its kin, the Spark comes in a solid $2,000 less than the next most affordable: the Nissan Leaf runs $29,650, the Fiat 500e will set you back about $33,200, and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV will run you about $29,975.
The car will first go on sale in California and Oregon (likely to the surprise of nobody), and feature a range of about 82 miles on a full charge with the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon. GM said that following the launch, the company will look into expanding the Spark into more markets.
The Spark is aimed at city-dwelling buyers, as its small size is ideal for navigating cities and urban areas. It packs 130 horsepower from the GM-made electric motors, with a mind blowing 400 pounds-feet of torque — by comparison, Nissan’s GT-R super car packs 448 — and since the Spark is fully electric, that figure is available instantaneously, when the driver hits the pedal.
Most importantly, Chevy’s competitive pricing is representative of a crucial trend: since electric vehicles are still on the periphery of automotive buyers, they are inherently more expensive, since neither the markets nor the industry are calibrated to handle or manufacture them. However, this is a perfect example of how competition can benefit the consumer: as companies work to constantly undercut the pricing of their rivals, the overall price of the technology will deflate and allow for EVs to become comparable in price to their gasoline counterparts.
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