Electric cars have been touted as the future of the car industry, due to their lower emissions and generally greener credentials. The problem to date has been the fact that the general public haven’t caught up, with sales of electric autos been slow at best. It’s now hoped that lowering the lease price will encourage more people to give these cars a go.
Honda are to lead the way. They plan on slashing the monthly fee on their Fit EV model by up to 30%. Other lesser known brands have already led the way by offering similar reductions in order to try and push the sluggish market. Honda are also looking to sweeten the deal further by throwing in a free home charging depot, which is obviously a key piece of kit for electric car owners to own, in order to lower the public’s barriers to purchase.
Will lower monthly payments be enough to win over a sceptical public?
Once upon a time, electric cars were supposed to be the solution to high petrol prices. Greener, more economical with the benefit of similar performance to their petrol counterparts, electric cars were supposed to the future. Instead though, petrol prices have steadied whilst petrol cars have got markedly more efficient. The result has been a reducing gap between the costs of ownership. With the additional hassle associated with electric cars, not to mention the stress of potentially running out of juice mid journey, consumers have voted with their wallets and petrol cars have won. To date at least.
In the states, the story is similar. Pure electric cars counted for only 120,000 sales in April in the USA. During that month, 4.97 million cars were sold, meaning electric cars is and <1% of the overall sales volume. The USA government is far more behind the movement than their UK counterparts too. The US offer EV owners a $7500 credit (£6,000) just for buying, and President Obama has promised to install 1 million plug and go charging points on the USA road networks by 2015.
Despite this, sales are growing. Whilst 120,000 sales in April is hardly staggering, it is an 80 percent rise on the corresponding period of 2012. Cheaper leases and additional perks can only help push this growth too. Aggressive marketing, such as Fiat’s, where they lose £8,000 per Fiat 500 sold, mean that consumers are effectively getting a great deal with electric vehicles.
So what are you looking at paying for a new, cheaper EV lease? Well, the Honda Fit EV is available on leases as low as £175 PCM, down from more like £300 when the car debuted last July. Add in flexible payment terms, including no cash down on the deal, and the consumer is getting a great price. The free charging port alone is worth £750, although Honda are making the buyer pay for installation.
“Although we feel the Fit EV offers significant product benefits over other electric vehicles, in order to effectively compete in the EV market, we need a more competitive price,” Honda Motor Co. spokeswoman Robyn Eagles said in a statement.