2014 BMW i3Enlarge Photo
We've got used to seeing electric cars with temptingly low lease prices, in a generally successful effort to draw in buyers otherwise deterred by high purchase costs.
For two of the newest kids on the block, the 2014 BMW i3 and 2014 Cadillac ELR, those price-gouging tactics haven't arrived just yet.
Lease prices for each have surfaced in the last few days, and neither is what you'd call cheap.
Potential i3 buyer George Betak revealed his own lease quote on the BMW i3 Facebook page at the weekend. While the price was quoted on an individual basis, the $930 monthly lease cost for 12,000 miles per year has caused consternation among potential lessees.
As more than a few have pointed out, that's enough to get you a Tesla Model S--and good though the i3 is, it's hard not to see those with that kind of money to burn sending it Tesla's way.
Things are only a little more affordable over at Cadillac, whose ELR lease pricing has just gone live on the Cadillac website.
For a 39-month, low-mileage lease--32,500 miles--the ELR costs from $699 a month with $5,999 due at signing.
There are benefits, such as a $1,000 customer loyalty program and GM Card earnings can also be applied. For the cost of the car, it's also relatively good value--the 39 months will cost just over $27,000, against a $76,000 car.
But like the car's purchase price, it's a healthy sum to pay over the mechanically-similar Chevy Volt, which can cost just a third of that. At $0.25 a mile, the mileage penalty is also relatively steep.
Other electric vehicles can be had even cheaper--Nissan Leafs and Ford Focus Electrics are both available for $199 a month on lease deals, while Smart's electric drive dropped to $139 and this time last year, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV could be had at just $69 a month with nothing down.
The i3 and ELR are more desirable than any of those vehicles, but competitive pricing from Tesla could make things difficult for each car.
And that's if buyers aren't swayed by other wares on their local dealers' forecourts--$700-$1000 a month can get you some very desirable vehicles, even if they aren't powered by electricity.
Would you pay $699 a month for an ELR or over $900 for an i3?
Or at those prices, would you prefer to buy--and at least have an asset on your driveway once the payments finish?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Hat tip: Eric Rotbard]