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 car. Which one of the following plug-in models has your name on it?

BMW i3

Electric Vehicle Sedan

81 miles (pure electric)
$42,300

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.

BMW i8

Plug-in Hybrid Coupe

25 miles (electric + gasoline)
$137,000

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.

Cadillac ELR

Plug-in Hybrid Coupe

37 miles (electric + gasoline)
$76,000

The ELR boasts an electric-only range of 37 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 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The ELR features Cadillac's signature angular look, but that alone is not worth the steep price.

Chevrolet Spark EV

Electric Vehicle Coupe

82 miles (pure electric)
$27,500

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.

Chevy Volt

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

38 miles (electric + gasoline)
$35,000

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.

Fiat 500e

Electric Vehicle Sedan

87 miles (pure electric)
$32,600

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.

Ford C-Max Energi

Plug-in Hybrid Wagon/Van

21 miles (electric + gasoline)
$33,700

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.

Ford Focus Electric

Electric Vehicle Sedan

76 miles (pure electric)
$36,000

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.

Ford Fusion Energi

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

21 miles (electric + gasoline)
$35,500

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.

Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

13 miles (electric + gasoline)
$40,700

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.

Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive

Electric Vehicle Sedan

85 miles (pure electric)
$42,400

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.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Electric Vehicle Sedan

62 miles (pure electric)
$23,800

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.

Nissan LEAF

Electric Vehicle Sedan

84 miles (pure electric)
$29,800

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.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid SUV

22 miles (electric + gasoline)
$100,000

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.

Smart Electric Drive

Electric Vehicle Coupe

68 miles (pure electric)
$25,700

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.

Tesla Model S

Electric Vehicle Sedan

265 miles (pure electric)
$81,000

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.

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

11 miles (electric + gasoline)
$30,800

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.

Toyota RAV4 EV

Electric Vehicle SUV

100 miles (pure electric)
$50,700

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.

Kia Soul EV

Electric Vehicle Sedan

93 miles (pure electric)
$34,500

Hyundai-Kia is arriving late to the EV party. But it appears that Kia has made a careful study of what's available, and loaded its Soul EV with smart features for electric car drivers. For starters, it offers 93 miles of real-world range. On top of that, the Kia Soul EV, the company’s first all-electric model, has a strong fun factor.

Volkswagen E-Golf

Electric Vehicle Sedan

85 miles (pure electric)
$36,300

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.

Tesla Model X

Electric Vehicle SUV

230 miles (pure electric)
$80,000

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.