• Chevy leases Spark EV for $199 per month.
  • Honda leases Fit EV for $259 per month.
  • Nissan leases Leaf for $199 per month.

Electric cars are inexpensive to operate, but high sticker prices on electric vehicles (EVs) have kept potential buyers in conventional gas or hybrid vehicles. To make EVs more attractive to car shoppers, automakers are offering low lease rates on these green vehicles. The upcoming Chevrolet Spark EV will be available for $199 per month upon its launch this month. Honda has dropped its lease price on the Fit EV, too. It's now $259 per month, including a free fast charger.

Those rates are relatively low considering the cost of purchasing an EV. The Chevy Spark EV, the lowest-priced electric car available in the U.S., starts at $27,495. Buyers are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which drops the price below $20,000. But compared to the gasoline version of the subcompact, the electric version is much pricier. A 2013 Spark with a conventional gasoline motor has a starting price of just $12,995.

Still, charging up at night instead of filling up with gas saves most drivers a lot of money because electricity is usually much cheaper than fuel. Now, these low-cost leases allow drivers to take advantage of savings on fuel without the penalty of a high sale price. Unfortunately, the Honda Fit EV and Chevy Spark EV aren't available everywhere. If, however, you're in an area where the electric vehicles are being sold, you can take advantage of one of these deals.

The 2014 Chevy Spark EV launches this month in California and Oregon. Qualified lessees will make an initial payment of $999 and 36 monthly payments of $199. The Spark EV is rated at 119 miles per gallon-equivalent (mpge) and comes standard with features such as Chevy MyLink infotainment and heated front seats.

The Honda Fit EV is a bit pricier at $259 per month, but there's no cash due at signing, and lessees get a 240-volt home charger to top off the batteries more quickly. Honda further sweetens the deal with free maintenance and collision coverage and unlimited mileage. The Fit EV is available in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Fit EV is rated at 118 mpge in combined city and highway driving.

If an electric car sounds ideal but the Spark EV and Fit EV aren't available where you live, Nissan offers a $199-per-month lease on the electric Leaf. Initial payment on the Nissan, though, is $1,999.

EVs remain considerably pricier than comparable gasoline-powered cars, but lease deals such as these certainly level the field. If excellent fuel economy is a priority -- to reduce either fuel expenses or your environmental impact -- consider the Spark EV, Fit EV or Leaf.

What it means to you: Anxious to get more of their electric cars on the road, automakers are offering low-cost EV leases that make going green far more affordable than ever.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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