Cars

Check out the growing list of cars powered by electricity! A few years ago, you could count the number of available plug-in cars on one hand, with a couple fingers left over. Today, there are nearly 20 models offered from more than a dozen different brands—and in a range of sizes, styles, price points and powertrains to suit a wide range of consumers. And all of them offer the sweet speedy-but-silent driving experience only available from a battery–powered electric cars. Which one of the following plug-in models has your name on it?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 82 miles
  • $27,500
  • Now

Chevrolet Spark EV

Electric Vehicle · Coupe

  • It's small, about two inches shorter than a Mini Cooper
  • Limited run of a couple thousand units, and sold only in Oregon and California, as a “compliance car”
  • Steep price tag compared to gas version of Spark, but less expensive than the other electric cars

See 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV full review

Chevrolet Spark EV pictures

Chevrolet Spark EV news

The 2014 Spark EV is the all electric version of Chevy's five-door urban mini-car. The powerful motor, quick acceleration, and short wheelbase, make it an exhilarating drive. At an estimated 119 MPGe, it is the most efficient electric car on sale today. The Spark EV is GM’s first all electric car since the EV1, and it’s the first electric car on the market to support the SAE Combo Fast Charging system.

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

Chevy Volt

Plug-in Hybrid · Sedan

  • Winner of Numerous Customer Satisfaction and Low Cost of Ownership awards
  • Its 38 miles of pure electric range handily beats plug-in hybrid competition
  • Combined MPG rating after electricity has been depleted is 37 MPG

See 2014 Chevy Volt full review

Chevy Volt pictures

Chevy Volt news

The Chevy Volt is a well-equipped, five-door, four-seat hatchback that operates as an electric car for its first 38 miles after a full charge and then uses gas to extend its range. It burns no gasoline during those first miles after a charge, drawing energy from a lithium ion battery pack. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter engine kicks in to power a generator that sustains the battery charge enough to give the car another 340 or so miles of range.

  • 87 miles
  • $32,600
  • Now

Fiat 500e

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Small EV in the form of iconic Fiat 500
  • Fiat seems less than fully committed to production
  • Small size makes 500e very efficient, and ideal for urban driving

See 2014 Fiat 500e full review

Fiat 500e pictures

Fiat 500e news

The Fiat 500e is every bit as cute as the gas-powered Fiat 500. It uses a 24 kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, providing an estimated 80 miles of range under typical driving conditions. The Fiat 500e is widely considered a "compliance" car produced only in small numbers to meet California regulations.

  • 21 miles + gas
  • $33,700
  • Now

Ford C-Max Energi

Plug-in Hybrid · Wagon/Van

  • Versatile and functional "multi-activity" platform
  • 21 miles of all-electric drive, and then 47 mpg
  • Beats plug-in hybrid competitors on price and overall efficiency

See 2014 Ford C-Max Energi full review

Ford C-Max Energi pictures

Ford C-Max Energi news

The Ford C-Max Energi is a compelling alternative to the other leading plug-in hybrids—the Chevy Volt and Plug-in Prius. It offers 21 miles of all-electric driving, 620 miles of total range, and an attractive price. The C-Max is considered a small "activity" vehicle, which is popular in Europe but not widely available in the United States. The small wagon-like platform is versatile and functional.

  • 76 miles
  • $36,000
  • Now

Ford Focus Electric

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Attractive ordinary-looking small car design
  • Full recharge between 3 and 4 hours on 240V Level 2 charging station
  • Liquid cooled and heated batteries for durability and cold weather performance

See 2014 Ford Focus Electric full review

Ford Focus Electric pictures

Ford Focus Electric news

The five-door hatchback provides about 80 miles of range. It offers many features that make it an enticing EV package, including an attractive design and zippy drive. The Focus Electric employs a 107-kilowatt (143 horsepower) motor, compared to the LEAF’s 110 horsepower motor.

  • 21 miles + gas
  • $35,500
  • Now

Ford Fusion Energi

Plug-in Hybrid · Sedan

  • Plug-in option available in stylish maintream full-size sedan
  • Compelling roomier alternative to Volt or Plug-in Prius
  • Limited cargo space in trunk

See 2014 Ford Fusion Energi full review

Ford Fusion Energi pictures

Ford Fusion Energi news

The Ford Fusion Energi offers a robust plug-in electric system in an ultra-popular roomy full-size sedan platform. The model offers the equivalent of about 100 miles per gallon, without compromising style or passenger space. After its battery is depleted, the Fusion Energi still delivers 43 miles per gallon.

  • 13 plus gas
  • $40,700
  • Now

Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid · Sedan

  • At 115 MPGe, the most efficient plug-in car in its class
  • At 196 horsepower, more powerful than plug-in competition
  • It's pricier than competing plug-in hybrid models

See 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid full review

Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid pictures

Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid news

The Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is pricier than its PHEV competition, but it comes in a very popular design, with more passenger space and lots of power. Honda engineers also managed to get an impressive rating of 115 MPGe.

  • 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.

  • 62 miles
  • $23,800
  • Now

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Total power and range is weak
  • Overall package falls short of competing small electric models
  • At lower price for 2014, it's still a questionable value

See 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV full review

Mitsubishi i-MiEV pictures

Mitsubishi i-MiEV news

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was once considered a front-runner in the race for a mass-market EV. The cute car claims a max speed of 80 mph and a range of about 75 miles. But with the i-MiEV's small size and modest electric drivetrain, and limited production numbers, it has become more of an also-ran.

  • 84 miles
  • $29,800
  • Now

Nissan LEAF

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Among affordable EVs, the LEAF outsells all other electric cars combined
  • Great handling, brisk acceleration and plenty of space for passengers and cargo
  • 6.6-kilowatt charger (at 220v) adds about 20 miles of range per hour

See 2014 Nissan LEAF full review

Nissan LEAF pictures

Nissan LEAF news

The Nissan LEAF is by far the most popular EV in the world. It is a well-equipped, all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and commonly travels about 80 miles on a single charge. The LEAF is available to test-drive and purchase at Nissan dealerships throughout the United States.

  • 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.

  • 68 miles
  • $25,700
  • Now

Smart Electric Drive

Electric Vehicle · Coupe

  • Great size for ultra-urban traffic
  • Latest version of the car is best so far, but still lacks great driving dynamics
  • Fitted with paddle-shifter to adjust regen braking level

See 2014 Smart Electric Drive full review

Smart Electric Drive pictures

Smart Electric Drive news

The latest version of tiny two-seat city car is a vast improvement over Smart’s previous all-electric versions. Measuring just over 106 inches from tip to tail, and a shade under 62 inches tall and wide, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is small enough to occupy the smallest of spaces. And it's the only EV available with a convertible top.

  • 265 miles
  • $81,000
  • Now

Tesla Model S

Electric Vehicle · Sedan

  • Striking design
  • Huge battery for long driving range
  • 17-inch touch screen to manage controls

See 2014 Tesla Model S full review

Tesla Model S pictures

Tesla Model S news

The Tesla Model S is a bright vision of a practical and desirable all-electric sedan. Tesla set a big goal for itself to deliver not just a great EV, but one of the world's best luxury sedans. Mission accomplished.

  • 100 miles
  • $50,700
  • Now

Toyota RAV4 EV

Electric Vehicle · SUV

  • Not just a reincarnation of the old RAV4 EV, a true collaboration between Toyota and Tesla
  • Combines high performance battery and power train with the styling and cargo capacity of SUV
  • 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds, top speed of 100 m.p.h.

See 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV full review

Toyota RAV4 EV pictures

Toyota RAV4 EV news

The RAV4 EV is currently the only all-electric high-riding crossover SUV available in the United States, although only in select cities of California. The well-respected Toyota platform takes on a Tesla powertrain, making it the least expensive way to experience rip-roaring acceleration from the famous California electric car startup. Driving range is around 120 miles.

  • 11 miles + gas
  • $30,800
  • Now

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid · Sedan

  • Best suited to drivers with short commutes
  • Will boost Prius average mileage from 50 to about 75 mpg
  • Toyota still shows reluctance about lithium batteries and plug-in technology

See Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid full review

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid pictures

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid news

The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s 4.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack provides 11 or more all-electric miles after a full charge. As a result, drivers with short commutes commonly get more than 100 miles per gallon.

  • 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.

  • 85 miles
  • $36,300
  • 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.

  • 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.