As tax credits on electric cars wind down, great deals are getting harder to find.
Still, our partners at CarsDirect found some deals as low as $199 a month for July in scouring manufacturer programs for deals. Since some electric cars are still sold in small numbers and in limited areas, we've focused our selections on deals on cars that are widely available and in good supply. There's no benefit in recommending deals on cars that buyers can't find on dealer lots.
It's worth mentioning that Tesla has gone through several rounds of adjusting prices and equipment on its cars since their tax credits began winding down. As credits on GM's cars have followed, the company can raise or lower incentives to dealers and customers to adjust the effective price without changing the MSRP.
Despite tax-credit reductions, the best deal on an electric car is again the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is available with up to $6,500 in dealer and customer incentives. While last month's $6,799 discount was higher, the new deal is available on all trim levels.
In lieu of the discount, buyers can choose 0 percent financing for 6 years along with $1,000 cash back. CarsDirect's analysis shows that the larger cash rebate is a better deal, assuming buyers will otherwise need a 5-year loan at 5.5 percent interest.
The Bolt is still eligible for a $3,750 federal income tax credit, which will drop to $1,875 on September 1, so buyers interested in a Bolt EV should consider buying before then. It is still eligible for a host of state, local, and utility credits.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV
For those who would rather lease an EV, Honda is offering $199 a month leases on its 2019 Clarity Electric, which is sold in California and Oregon. With an 89 mile EPA range rating, it isn't as competitive as most modern electric cars, but may meet the needs of most buyers.
The 36-month lease requires $1,799 up front, giving it an effective price of $249 a month, which is $80 less than the effective lease price of a base Nissan Leaf. the lease offer doesn't expire until January 2, 2020.
2017 Toyota Prius Prime, Dallas, Texas
The most popular plug-in hybrid, the 2019 Toyota Prius Prime, is available with a great lease deal for July: $299 a month with $1,999 down for 36 months. The effective cost works out to $355 a month, The Prius Prime is available nationwide, but the lease deal is focused on Southern California customers.
The 2019 Prius Prime does not offer several of the useful new features coming to 2020 models, such as a third seat in the center-rear.
2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is becoming a stalwart standby in more ways than one, but that's not an entirely bad thing. It has been on the market since 2013, but was a highly competitive car then with a generous interior and an EPA rating of 42 mpg.
Ford is offering the Fusion Hybrid for $219 a month for 36 months. The best part may be that it requires only the first month's payment up front. That gives the Fusion Hybrid lease deal an effective monthly cost of $225.
The lease deal is available in Southern California through the end of September.