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—in a range of sizes, styles, price points and powertrains to suit a wide range of consumers. (Okay, other models have been discontinued, failing to emerge from concepts.) But EVs are here to stay. The cars on this list all offer the sweet speedy-but-silent driving experience only available from battery-to-motor power. Which one of the following plug-in models has your name on it?

BMW i3

Electric Vehicle Sedan

81 miles (pure electric)
$43,300

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. The i3's battery pack delivers 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. The car has a delightful split personality: switching on command between virtuous EV silence, and a delightful Porsche-like engine note when driven as a sports machine.

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 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's one of the most efficient electric car on sale today.

Chevy Volt

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

38 miles (electric + gasoline)
$35,200

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

20 miles (electric + gasoline)
$32,600

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 20 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)
$30,000

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

20 miles (electric + gasoline)
$35,600

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 38 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.

Kia Soul EV

Electric Vehicle Sedan

93 miles (pure electric)
$34,500

Hyundai-Kia arrived late to the EV party. But it appears that Kia made a careful study of the competition, and loaded its Soul EV with smart features for electric car drivers. For starters, it offers 93 miles of real-world range.

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 Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid SUV

14 miles (electric + gasoline)
$78,000

The Cayenne S E-Hybrid is the first luxury plug-in SUV to hit the market. It combines the stylish lines and sporty performance of a Porsche in the form of its popular crossover. Now add a 10.8 kilowatt-hour battery, which means about 14 miles of all-electric driving, and total average EPA efficiency of 47 MPGe.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid SUV

15 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)
$71,000

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.

Volkswagen E-Golf

Electric Vehicle Sedan

83 miles (pure electric)
$36,300

The Volkswagen E-Golf is the company’s first all-electric car. It maintains the spirited driving experience of internal combustion versions of the Golf—one of the most popular small cars in the world. The VW E-Golf is arguably the best handling car among the emerging class of small affordable EVs.

Audi A3 E-Tron

Plug-in Hybrid Luxury

30 miles (electric + gasoline)
TBD

After years of developing all kinds of plug-in prototype, Audi will finally put one on sale in 2015. The A3 Sportback platform has a compelling mix of attributes—elegant lines, high-quality materials, and practicality. Combine that with a capable 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine and an electric powertrain providing 30 miles of electric driving. The result is a small snazzy and robust plug-in hybrid.

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

22 miles (electric + gasoline)
TBD

Hyundai takes on the plug-in competition with a powerful motor, six-speed automatic transmission, and a battery pack providing about 22 miles of all-electric range. It's packaged in the attractive and comfortable Sonata mid-size sedan.

Mercedes C350 Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

20 miles (electric + gasoline)
TBD

The second plug-in hybrid from Mercedes is brought to the small luxury C-Class. It’s both sporty, with total output of 275 horsepower, and capable of about 20 miles of ultra-efficient electric driving. The C350 is stylish, well appointed, and loaded with advanced safety features. The ability to plug in will push the C-Class car to new levels of efficiency.

Mercedes S550 Plug-in Hybrid

Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

20 miles (electric + gasoline)
TBD

It's hard to find flaws in a Mercedes S-Class. In the past, power and comfort came at some price in terms of fuel efficiency. With the S550 Plug-in Hybrid, you get all the benefits of the Mercedes flagship sedan, but now with 20 miles of all-electric range and (depending on how you drive and charge) as much as 40 miles per gallon.

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.

Chevrolet Bolt

Electric Vehicle SUV

200 miles (pure electric)
$37,500

In January 2015, General Motors drew a line in the sand, proclaiming that it will be the first to offer an affordable 200-mile electric car. It will be based on a sleek small crossover concept, and due in late 2016 or early 2017.

Tesla Model 3

Electric Vehicle Sedan

200 miles (pure electric)
$35,000

Tesla would have to defy all expectations to achieve success on the Model 3, while avoiding all the potential pitfalls—not only for the 200-mile $35,000 Model 3, but a massive new battery factory, and the Model X that comes first. Can Tesla do it again?