Wait -- you said free?
Yes, free. Let me explain.
Let's start with the nominal price of an electric car. If you are looking for a commuter car, you might be interested in the all-electric Chevrolet (GM - Get Report),Spark, which at 400 lb.ft. of torque is more powerful than a Ferrari 458. It has an EPA-certified range of over 80 miles. Considering that the average American has a commute of 12 miles, and that 80% of Americans are below 40 miles, it handily covers the daily commutes of most people.
The price of the electric Chevy Spark is approximately $28,000. It doesn't have a lot of options.
Now for the subtractions from that starting price:
First, you may be eligible for a Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. If you make anywhere near $100,000 per year, you are likely eligible for this. Most tech workers in Silicon Valley therefore qualify.
Now you're down to $20,500.
Second, the state of California gives you a $2,500 rebate in exchange for you driving alone in the carpool lane during rush hours.
Now you're down to $18,000.
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