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Fiat 500E lease deal charges up price competition for electric cars

There’s nothing like competition to bring down the price of a product, even expensive electric cars.

Chrysler Group said it will be offering a special deal on its first electric car, the Fiat 500e, when it goes on sale this summer.

While the sticker price will be $32,500 before various government incentives, California residents can lease the car for $199 a month, plus tax, and a $999 down payment. It is a 36-month lease.

Photos: Top 10 cars with lowest cost per mpg

“It is a pretty attractive deal to test the waters and see what kind of a take rate they can get,” said Mike Wall, an analyst with IHS Automotive.

Those leasing the car can also get a special $2,500 rebate that California offers for electric cars, which will cover the down payment and about six lease payments. There’s also a $7,500 federal tax rebate for buyers of electric cars, but people leasing the cars aren’t eligible to collect that incentive.

Chrysler’s aggressive pricing stance comes amid slow sales of electric vehicles since their introduction to the market in late 2010.

“Our task is to simplify the customer’s experience and make sure that people know how easy and affordable it can be to own” the Fiat, said Tim Kuniskis, the former Fiat brand chief in North America. (He was named chief executive of Chrysler’s Dodge brand Monday.)
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