Chevrolet Spark EV - front three-quarter view

The Nissan Leaf, the Fiat 500e and now the 2014 Chevy Spark EV 1LT. Three different electric hatchbacks that can all be had for the same low lease price: $199 per month. The Spark even has the same appealing $999 down payment as the Fiat (the Leaf’s is $1,999) and both require 36-month leases, so the cost of these two city runabouts is identical, at least at the base level. The one potential hiccup: Chevy says it’s a “low mileage lease,” and you’ll pay 25 cents a mile for each mile over 12,000 per year. Considering these are urban-minded vehicles with limited ranges, however, that doesn’t seem like as pressing an issue.

If you want to buy a Spark EV outright, General Motors will ask you for $27,495, a figure that will drop to $19,995 for anyone who qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. That’s a good deal for EVs, but the gas-powered Spark starts at just $12,185. Before Fiat announced its low lease deal last month, all GM would say is that the Spark EV would cost somewhere “under $25,000 with tax incentives.” Well under, apparently.

The Spark EV goes on sale in California and Oregon in the middle of June. The car is rated at 119 MPGe combined and has a range of 82 miles. When that’s not enough, DC quick charging with the SAE combo charger will refill the battery to 80 percent in about 20 minutes (when such DC stations stations become available, since the Spark is not compatible with the already-available CHAdeMO stations).

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By Sebastian Blanco