2014 Electric Cars

The market for plug-in electric vehicles will enter its fourth year in 2014. What started as a niche market with two vehicles in December 2010 has grown over the past three years to 14 cars from nine different automakers. The expansion of consumer choice continues in 2014 with new electric entries from BMW, Cadillac, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Tesla and Volkswagen.

That adds up to seven new plug-in vehicles in 2014—pushing the total number of options beyond 20 models. Most of the new EVs and plug-in hybrids will be offered only in a few markets, or in limited numbers.

Nonetheless, as 2014 progresses, upscale consumers seeking to displace gasoline with greener electric propulsion will have an array of luxury vehicles to consider: including a Tesla SUV, a Cadillac extended-range coupe, and an all-electric urban Bimmer. There will also be two supercars: a pair of plug-in hybrids, one each from BMW and Audi.

More practical cost-conscious buyers will not be left out. Volkswagen enters the electric car market for the first time in 2014, with a battery-powered version of its ultra-popular VW Golf.

  • 81 miles
  • $42,300
  • Now

BMW i3

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Efficient lightweight carbon fiber body
  • BMW driving dynamics, and aggressive regen braking
  • Available with small gas engine that effectively doubles driving range

See 2014 BMW i3 full review

BMW i3 pictures

BMW i3 news

The stylish if slightly odd-looking BMW i3 is the lightest EV on the market. That makes it very efficient while providing a fast and fun 170-horsepower ride. Zero to sixty performance is close to seven seconds. The i3 uses a liquid-cooled 22-kilowatt-hour battery pack to deliver more than 80 miles of range. The electric Bimmer is also available with a small gas engine that essentially doubles that distance.

  • 25 miles + gas
  • $137,000
  • 2014

BMW i8

Plug-in Hybrid · Coupe

  • Very expensive, limited-production plug-in hybrid supercar
  • 170 horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels
  • 230 horsepower at the rear from turbocharghed 1.5-litre three-cylinder gas engine

See 2014 BMW i8 full review

BMW i8 pictures

BMW i8 news

The i8 is BMW's expensive sleek futuristic plug-in hybrid supercar. The car is powered in a one-two punch by a powerful 96-kilowatt (129-horsepower) electric motor driving the front wheels—and an efficient 230-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine motivating the rear wheels.

  • 35 miles + gas
  • $76,000
  • Now

Cadillac ELR

Plug-in Hybrid · Coupe

  • Steep price for a car with many design flaws
  • Snazzy features
  • Very efficient for a beefy coupe

See 2014 Cadillac ELR full review

Cadillac ELR pictures

Cadillac ELR news

The ELR boasts an electric-only range of 35 miles and a total combined range of about 340 miles. The ELR shares most of its technical elements with the current Chevy Volt, including its 1.4-liter gasoline engine and 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The ELR features Cadillac's signature angular look, but that alone is not worth the steep price.

  • 85 miles
  • $42,400
  • Now

Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • All the quality and luxury features of a Mercedes
  • Up to 31.5 kilowatt-hours of storage (in range charging mode) could mean 100+ miles of range
  • Paddle-shifters to control level of regen braking

See 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive full review

Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive pictures

Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive news

This small Mercedes electric car directly competes with the BMW i3. Its powertrain is provided by Tesla Motors, but engineers turned it into a comfortable and relaxed commuter car. If driven with care, the well-appointed B-Class could offer around 100 miles of range from a battery pack capable of holding 31.5 kilowatt-hours of juice.

  • 22 miles + gas
  • $100,000
  • Now

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid · SUV

  • Very fast, with 416 horsepower
  • Driving characteristics, and luxury features, expected from Porsche
  • Can be compared to Tesla Model S, on bang for the buck

See 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid full review

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid pictures

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid news

The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid is luxury sports sedan first, and a plug-in hybrid second. The four-seater is powered by a 3.0-liter, V6 supercharged gasoline engine, paired with a 70-kilowatt electric motor. It provides about 22 miles of all-electric range and a top speed of 167 miles per hour.

  • 230 miles
  • $80,000
  • 2015

Tesla Model X

Electric Vehicle · SUV

  • Aims for utility of a minivan
  • Falcon doors are snazzy, but not universally liked
  • Built on platform of Model S sedan

See 2015 Tesla Model X full review

Tesla Model X pictures

Tesla Model X news

The Model X is Tesla’s follow-up vehicle to the award-winning Model S sedan. The X shares about 60 percent of the content from the sedan—converting the sleek Maserati-looking five-passenger model into a stylish crossover utility vehicle.

  • 85 miles
  • TBD
  • 2014

Volkswagen E-Golf

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Electric version of VW's popular Golf
  • About 90 miles of driving range
  • Includes advanced features to maximize use of regenerative braking

See 2015 Volkswagen E-Golf full review

Volkswagen E-Golf pictures

Volkswagen E-Golf news

The Volkswagen E-Golf will be VW's first electric car entry to hit the market. By placing an electric drivetrain into one of the most popular small cars in the world, VW hopes to convince the car-buying public that EVs have move beyond niche status. Yet, the company's commitment to a pure electric car appears less certain than its use of plug-in hybrid technology.

  • 90 miles
  • TBD
  • 2014

Kia Soul EV

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Popular yet unusual style
  • Relatively large 27-kWh battery pack
  • Only available in six states

See Kia Soul EV full review

Kia Soul EV pictures

Kia Soul EV news

Hyundai-Kia is arriving late to the EV party, without much to claim in terms of technology innovation. But that doesn’t mean the Soul EV is not welcome. What’s exciting about the Kia Soul EV, the company’s first all-electric model, is the fun factor.