Leases Make Plug-in Cars Cheaper than Ever

Carmakers are clearing their lots of electric cars to make way for cars from the next model year. The result is that now is the time to snap up bargains, with some of the best deals being the low, low cost of getting into a plug-in electric car with a lease.

Nissan, for example, is offering three-year leases for its poorly-named electric Leaf at $199 a month. General Motors, meanwhile, chopped 13 percent off the starting price of its Chevy Volt a couple months ago. If you just used a plug-in to commute, you could very easily replace what you are now paying in gas each month for the lease cost of a plug-in, which would effectively give you an electric car for free.

Of course, to take advantage of such cost savings you need to make sure your daily driving does not exceed the single-charge range of your car. A Leaf’s is 75 miles. According to John O’Dell, a senior editor at auto site Edmunds.com:

“These cars are really designed for people driving 40 miles or less in their daily commute. The more you go above pure electric range, the less attractive these vehicles get.”

If you have been on the fence about opting for a plug-in hybrid, consider that sales of such vehicles were up 36% through September of 2013, and these year-end lease deals will only push those numbers higher. It seems that US consumers are gaining trust in these vehicles, seeing their gas-sipping nature as good for both earth and wallet.