Electric car prices decelerate

GM took $5,000 off the price of a rechargeable Chevy Volt. Photo: bartholomew cooke

Electric car prices have gotten shockingly reasonable.

In August, GM took $5,000 off the $40,000 price of its rechargeable Chevy Volt. Thank California, which has passed sales quotas for eco-friendly vehicles — and helped spark a price war.

If you buy an electric, a $7,500 federal tax credit brings the cost down to little more than a similar gas-powered car. And leases are cheap too.

The brightest electrics

Chevrolet Volt. Worried that you might run out of juice? The gas engine kicks in after 38 miles. Biggest downside: The car seats only four.

Sticker price: $34,995

Lease: $299 a month for 36 months, $2,499 down

Range per charge: 38 miles (another 343 on gas)

Related: 3 Next-Gen Plug-In Cars That Could be Game Changers

Nissan Leaf. This fun-to-drive five-seater has sufficient range for most daily needs, and can save you $1,000 a year in fuel costs vs. a comparable car. “It’s surprisingly cheap to commute on electricity,” says senior editor (and Leaf leaser) Phil Reed.

Sticker price: $29,650

Lease: $199 a month for 36 months, $1,999 down

Range per charge: 83 miles

Related: Auto insurance — downshift with caution

Tesla Model S. Its price is near that of a full-size BMW, its crash test rating is stellar, and its performance is, well, electric.

“The acceleration is just amazing,” says CEO Roger Falcione, a new Model S owner.

Sticker price: $69,900

Range per charge: 208 miles

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