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The EV List: Every Mainstream Electric Car Available in America Right Now – Updated!

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A while back, I read a little bit about the Chevy Volt, and thought to myself, “Wow! This electric car stuff is really awesome! I should really buy a Volt!”

However, then I thought, “I wonder what other electric cars there are.”

This is the result: A list of all the mainstream electric vehicles–that is, pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids which can run on electricity for shorter distances–available right now in the American market. Please keep in mind that all of the cars on this list are run on battery packs, enjoy the electric drive’s trademark instant torque, gain range in city traffic due to regenerative brakes, and come with some degree of federal tax credit based on the size of the battery used.

smart Fortwo electric

2016 smart Fortwo Electric

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $19,990

Range: 68 miles

MPG equivalent: 122/93/107 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

The 2016 smart Fortwo Electric is the least expensive electric vehicle available on the mainstream market. It is also the smallest, measuring at just under 9 feet in length and a smidge over 5 feet tall and wide. As a result, the Fortwo is generally marketed toward city dwellers who would like to conserve space. The Fortwo Electric is powered by a water-cooled 55 kw motor, which translates to 74 hp and 96 lb-ft of torque, routed through a single-speed transmission to 15-inch wheels. Time to charge the Lithium-ion battery, according to smart, can take up to 6 hours, using either a 120V or 240V charger. Also according to smart, while driving in city traffic, that 68-mile range can be extended to 76 total miles.

The smart Fortwo Electric comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the smart Fortwo Electric

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

My first impulse was to dislike the Fortwo Electric. As a consequence of that, I really tried to like it. In its favor, it is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and will definitely get you from point A to point B (provided those two points aren’t very far apart). However, for only 68 miles of range, after which you need at least six hours to recharge, I just don’t think that it is a practical car. If you needed to take a trip farther than to work, the store, and back (like, say, to visit your parents), you would need to have a second car that could actually reach that distance. And, if you are going to have to spend that money to buy another car anyway, why not just buy a single one that can serve all your needs? It can even be a plug-in hybrid; there are some great cars later on the list that don’t cost that much more and yet still can cover that distance on electric power alone. Also, I can’t get the thought out of my head that, in a crash, I would be tossed like Harrison Ford in a refrigerator.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

When smart cars first started appearing on the streets, I always though how awesome they were and how I wanted one. Of course, I was a teenager living in Europe, and tended to rely on public transport. I’d probably buy the smart Fortwo Electric if I were a city-dweller looking for something that would easily get me around where public transit wouldn’t. But living as I do in Ohio, I doubt I’d ever give this car serious thought. (I still think it’s cool.)

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV night driving

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $22,995

Range: 62 miles

MPG equivalent: 126/99/112 City/Highway/Combined

It wasn’t renewed for the 2015 model year, but now Mitsubishi’s all-electric i-MiEV has returned for 2016. Like the smart Fortwo, the i-MiEV is built for city commuting at a very affordable price. The i-MiEV is powered by a water-cooled, 49kw AC synchronous permanent magnetic motor, which puts out 66 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque to the 15-inch wheels. The charging time is significantly longer than the smart car, however, reaching between 14 and 22 hours when plugged into a normal home outlet, so Mitsubishi offers two optional wall chargers that will charge the battery in 6 hours. The i-MiEV is also equipped with a port for charging at a CHAdeMO Level 3 public charger, which presumably charge the battery in a little over a half hour. Mitsubishi claims that, if driven solely in the city, the range can be extended all the way to 98 miles.

The Mitsubishi engineers seem to have endeavored to add at least a few premium features to the i-MiEV, despite is low MSRP. The outside features automatic on/off halogen headlights, side fender running lights, and heated outer mirrors. Inside, the i-MiEV offers the features that you would expect (save a USB connection, which is optional), but also includes, surprisingly, standard heated front seats.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I would actually like more people to buy this car. It’s cute, it’s unique, and I kind of have a soft spot for Mitsubishi – I mean, they aren’t doing as well as the other auto manufacturers in this list, but by God they are trying hard. They are even keeping up with electric vehicle technology, with one fully-electric vehicle and one soon-to-be Plug-in Hybrid SUV, and that’s something that some brands can’t say.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

You have to give it to Mitsu here–they’re really trying. Unfortunately, they only sell, like, two of these vehicles per month. Like the smart ForTwo Electric, perhaps it’s just that there’s not really a market in the US for tiny electric cars. Bring us that Outlander PHEV and then we’ll talk.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Chevy Spark EV

Copyright: GM

2016 Chevrolet Spark EV

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $25,995

Total Range: 82 miles

MPG equivalent: 128/109/119 City/Highway/Combined

We will start off and say that the 2016 Chevy Spark EV is only available in California, Oregon, and Maryland in limited quantities. In addition to a larger battery than the i-MiEV, the Chevy Spark EV also sports a larger 105 kWh engine, which puts out 140 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque. The charging time, though, is just as long, with a normal plug and the cord at the default setting will take about 20 hours. Using a dedicated 240V charger, that time is cut to 7 hours. The addition of an optional SAE combo charger lowers that time to an 80% charge in 20 minutes.

On the outside, the Spark EV sports features like halogen headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control, Daytime Running Lamps, a rear windshield wiper (plus washer) and, oddly, standard summer-only tires. Inside, though, features get somewhat more fancy, with Onstar RemoteLink and Directions & Connections plan or three years, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, automatic climate control, heated front seats, and an automatic vehicle starting system.

There are two trims, but the only features that the higher trim adds are leatherette-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Chevy Spark EV comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Chevy Spark EV

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

I am not sure that Chevy has thought through this car very well. I mean, on the one hand, that is a lot of torque in a little bitty car, but on the other hand, the more expensive trim only adds two piddly features. On top of that, one of its three only release locations is Maryland and the car only comes with summer-only tires? Come November, those Maryland Spark drivers are going to have some serious problem.

Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore

There’s only one reason I like the Spark , and that’s the color choices. Unfortunately, the Spark EV doesn’t share the fun color options with the gasoline Spark, so we’re missing out on colors like Lemonade and Salsa. But if a color option is your only reason for buying a car anyway, I think you’ll find you’re disappointed with your purchase when it’s all said and done. Keep your options open—the Fiat 500e is another impressive subcompact EV. And it’ll piss Sergio Marchionne off if you buy it.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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carbon offsets

2016 VW E-Golf

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $28,995

Range: 83 miles

MPG equivalent: 126/105 MPGe City/Highway

The E-Golf is the calm, level-headed German EV from the company that brought us the Beetle and ridiculously illegal diesel testing cheats. As a result, we suppose all of that VW tells us should be taken with a grain of salt.

So, the E-Golf gets 115 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque (probably) from its 84 kW electric motor. The base model comes with a 3.6 kW charging cable (we think) that charges the E-Golf in about 16 to 20 hours from empty to full. Or you could plug the E-Golf (if that is indeed what it is called) into a 240V wall charger to fill it in about 4 hours, or a DC fast charging station to fill it in about 45 minutes.

Outside, the E-Golf might have an electrically heated windshield, LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera system, heated windshield washer nozzles, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers. On what may be the inside, you might find a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a multi-function trip computer, heated front seats, Bluetooth audio streaming, and a USB audio port (maybe).

The only change from the previous generation seems to be a reduction in price, presumably to attract back customers that may have been put off by the brand’s cheaty, cheaty ways.

The supposed VW E-Golf comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the supposed Volkswagen E-Golf

Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore

Given the recent discoveries of VW’s foul play in its diesel models, I wouldn’t really want anything to do with its alternative-fuel vehicles of any type—or any of the brand’s vehicles at all, really. Though, I said the same thing about GM last year following the ignition switch recall, but nobody listened, and GM’s sales continue to soar.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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Glow in the dark Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $29,010

Range: 84-107 miles

MPG equivalent: 126/101 City/Highway

The 2016 Nissan LEAF is an all-electric hatchback that sacrificed the compact size of the previous three entries in exchange for more comfort. However, most of this trade-off went into the higher trims, which sport Nissan’s new, larger battery pack, which can push the car’s range up to about 107 miles. The LEAF has five seats (although the fifth passenger in the rear had better be skinny), and is powered by an 80 kW electric motor, which translates to 107 hp and 187 lb-ft of torque. With the 6.6 kW onboard charger (standard on higher trims, optional on the base) plugged into a 240V charger, the higher-trim LEAF models can recharge in about six hours. With the base model’s 3.6 kW charger, that time is doubled, and using a dedicated high-capacity charger, the battery can charge to full in around 45 minutes.

On the outside, the LEAF was engineered for aerodynamics. The headlights were specially molded to direct airflow away from the mirrors and the undercarriage is covered by a flat surface to reduce drag. If you buy the highest trim, you will get a spoiler which contains a solar panel to help charge the battery and power accessories like the air conditioning, sound system, and headlights. Inside, the LEAF contains the features buyers generally expect, plus things like a RearView Monitor, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone controls, and a USB connection for iPod interface and other devices. In addition, seats both in front and rear are heated, the steering wheel is leather-wrapped and heated, the climate control is automatic, and, should you upgrade to the higher trims, there are several better features thrown in.

The Nissan LEAF comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Nissan LEAF

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Nissan was being a little sneaky on this one. On the LEAF’s website, Nissan showed off these great features, like the solar-panel on the spoiler (which is really a pretty cool idea). That happened a few more times, and it started to make me feel like I was dealing with a pushy shopkeep that wouldn’t rest until I bought his most expensive necklace, because “What’s the matter, your girlfriend not pretty enough?”

Cat Hiles Cat Hiles

The Nissan LEAF is one of the only EVs I’ve actually considered, but that could just be because it’s close to my price range. In its previous generation, the LEAF looked very strange in the front due to its lack of grille (I think Nissan was trying to stand out a little too much), but the next version should look a little more mainstream. However, I’m still reluctant to spend almost $30K on a Nissan (sorry, Nissan).

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Ford Focus Electric

2016 Ford Focus Electric

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $29,170

Range: 76 miles

MPG equivalent: 110/99 City/Highway

The Focus Electric is offered solely as a hatchback as a model of Ford’s respected and popular Focus nameplate. The engine is a 107 kW motor which produces 143 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Ford is not terribly forthcoming about charging times, unless you are talking about charging using one of the 240V charging stations that they offer, which can charge the car in 3.6 hours (that’s 3 hours, 36 minutes). If you look at the specifications page, it says that, using the provided 120V charge cord, the Focus Electric charges in 20 hours.

On the outside, the 2016 Focus Electric is outfitted with halogen headlights (with LED accents) and LED taillights, a rear-view camera, automatic on/off headlights, heated mirrors, and a ring of blue LEDs that light up when you plug it in. Inside, it features automatic climate control, push-button start, two 12V powerpoints (one in front, one in rear), a MyKey owner control system (which allows you to see the number of miles driven by specific drivers using specific keys), a Brake Coach, SYNC voice-controlled systems, and two USB ports. Also standard is “Eco-conscious cloth,” with an optional upgrade to leather-trimmed seats.

The Ford Focus Electric comes with a $7,500 tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Ford Focus Electric

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Wow that is a long charging time. I can see why Ford didn’t come forward with that. And by the way, the upgrade from “Eco-conscious cloth” is leather? What, does Ford only love the environment until you have money?

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Ford C-MAX Energi

2016 Ford C-MAX Energi

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $31,770

Total Range: 550 miles

Battery Range: 19 miles

MPG equivalent: 95/81 MPG City/Highway

Gas MPG: 40/36/38 MPG City/Highway/Combined

The 2016 Ford C-MAX Energi is a small five-seat wagon powered by an electric motor bonded to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which combined produce a cumulative 188 hp in Charge Sustain Mode and 195 hp in Charge Depletion Mode, and 129 lb-ft of torque. Like on the Focus Electric, the C-MAX Energi has a special dashboard display which shows amount of power left in the battery, predictions on how far you have before the gasoline engine kicks on, and a visual representation of how efficiently you’re driving–in the C-MAX, the display adds more leaves to a branch for how efficiently you are driving, although on the Focus, the display adds butterflies.

Using the provided 120V power cable, the C-MAX takes 7 hours to charge, but using a 240V power station cuts that time in half.

On the outside, the C-MAX includes heated mirrors, a capless fueling system, a foot-activated power liftgate, a Reverse Sensing System (it beeps as you get close to an object while backing up), Rain-sensing wipers, and, yes, a ring of blue LEDS around the charge port that light up when you plug it in. Inside, the C-MAX features dual-zone automatic climate control, second-row in-floor storage, a 110V powerpoint, an auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and leather-trimmed bucket seats.

The Ford C-MAX Energi comes with a $4,007 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Ford C-MAX Energi

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I envision this car as a car that you send with your child to college. It’s small, has some very nice features, and can be taken to class and back without breaking into the gas supply. Then, since it is a plug-in hybrid, you can then take it home on weekends or the holidays.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

I actually really like this car. It’s affordable, big enough to actually be practical, and it has pretty remarkable fuel efficiency ratings (plus a range of 19 miles). Until I am wealthy enough to afford a Tesla, this would likely be my top pick of all the EV/plug-in hybrids available today.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2015 Fiat 500e

2016 Fiat 500e

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $31,800

Range: 87 miles

MPG equivalent: 122/108/116 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

…and we return to tiny cars. The four-seat 2016 Fiat 500e is powered by an 83-kW electric motor that produces 111 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. When it comes to charge times, Fiat dances slightly around directly saying charging times, but with the standard 120V charger giving you “roughly 9 to 10 miles of range for every three hours of charging,” that puts the full charge time at over 24 hours (although Fiat explicitly says that it will be less than 24). A 240V charger drastically cuts that time, though, fully charging the 500e is under four hours.

Like the LEAF, the 500e’s body styling includes a flat underbelly piece to reduce wind resistance, although the 500e also adds a large spoiler. Also included are heated side mirrors, halogen headlights, a removable antenna, and orange-accented 15-inch tires. Inside, the front seats are heated, the driver’s seat has a memory system, the climate control is automatic, the USB port is in the glovebox, and there is an updated infotainment system, dropping the previous version’s TomTom navigation.

The Fiat 500e comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Fiat 500e

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

Looking at Fiat cars makes me feel uncomfortably American, because my first thought isn’t “what an interesting compact car that is, I bet it would be good for inner-city driving,” my first thought is “that is a small, rounded car and I don’t like it.”

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Kia Soul EV grille

 2016 Kia Soul EV

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP:$31,950

Total Range: 93 miles

MPG equivalent: 120/92/105 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

Staying small but adding some range is the 2016 Kia Soul EV, powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor, producing 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque (the first to break 200 since the Spark EV). The included charger is a respectable 6.6 kW charger, and when plugged into a 120V power source it charges the car fully in 8-10 hours. If using a 240V charger, that time is 4-5 hours, and using a public 480V Direct-Current Fast Charger (CHAdeMO chargers) will fill the battery in about 45 minutes.

On the outside, the Kia Soul EV sports a front-mounted charge port, heated side mirrors, auto light controls, LED positioning and rear lamps, and 16-inch Alloy wheels. Inside, the Soul EV comes with steering-wheel mounted audio, cruise control, and Bluetooth Hands-free calling controls, a FlexSteer system which changes the steering feel for Normal, Comfort, and Sport modes, an energy-saving Active Eco System, automatic individual climate control, under-floor storage, and Bio fabric upholstery.

The Kia Soul EV comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Kia Soul EV

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I wonder if anyone ever opened one of these and just found like a thousand hamsters wearing hoodies running on wheels.

Or maybe not, since one of the hamsters (Fluff Daddy, we’ll call him) got arrested for disability fraud.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $33,170

Total Range: 420 miles

Battery Range: 53 miles

MPG equivalent: 106 MPGe Combined

Gas MPG: 43/42/42 MPG City/Highway/Combined

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt has seen some small optional upgrades (aka adaptive cruise control) from the 2016 version, but does have one significant upgrade: it is being rolled out across all 50 states, rather than the limited market of its predecessors.

So, the 2017 Chevy Volt is driven by energy from the battery to twin electric motors, supplemented by a 1.5-liter high-efficiency four-cylinder engine, which gives the whole deal 149 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque, occasionally supplemented by 101 hp from the gas motor for a total power of 250 hp. Charging time on a normal 120V charger from empty takes about 13 hours, cut down to 4.5 hours with a 240V charger. Regenerative braking can be adjusted while driving use a steering-wheel-mounted paddle.

On the exterior, the 2017 Volt features Daytime running lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, and Automatic dusk-sensing delay-off LED headlamps. Inside, the Volt sports a split-folding rear seat, a rear view camera system, steering-wheel-mounted controls, three driving modes, 3 months of satellite radio service, an auxiliary audio input, USB connection, and a suite of available OnStar and Safety Features.

The Chevrolet Volt is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Chevrolet Volt

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

I really love this car. It gets the best mileage of any plug-in hybrid on this list and it is relatively affordable. All in all, I would rate the Chevy Volt as my favorite PHEV on this entire list. If only it were available more widely and sooner.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

The Chevy Volt is pretty cool. It looks good–distinguishable as an EV, but not in a weird Nissan LEAF no-grille way. My only hesitation in buying this vehicle would be the fact that it’s a Chevy, and I’m not typically a fan of their cars. But for now, the Volt would be well in my price range once you take the tax credit into account, so if I were in the market for an EV it’d likely be high on my list.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | Volt | Fusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2016 Ford Fusion Energi

2016 Ford Fusion Energi

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $33,900

Total Range: 620 miles

Battery Range: 21 miles

MPG equivalent: 95/81 MPGe City/Highway

Gas MPG: 40/36/38 MPG City/Highway/Combined

The Ford Fusion Energi, like the C-MAX Energi, is a plug-in hybrid version of a popular car, but is a sedan instead of a hatchback. The Fusion Energi shares the specialized dash instruments of the other two electric Fords. Really it is very similar to the C-MAX Energi–it uses the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor, producing the same horsepower and torque (188 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque), although rather than having a Charge Sustain or Charge Depletion modes, the Fusion Energi has three: EV now, Auto EV, and EV later, allowing you to choose to use electric, gas, or a combination of the two.

When plugged into a 120V outlet, the Fusion Energi charges in 7 hours, and when plugged into a 240V charger, it only takes 2.5 hours.

On its outside, the Fusion Energi has power heated extended mirrors with puddle lamps and turn signal indicators, LED taillamps, speed-sensing wipers, a Rear View Camera, and a capless fuel filler point. Inside, there are three 12V powerpoints, one 110V powerpoint, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Remote Start system, and Cruise control with EcoCruise.

The Ford Fusion Energi comes with a $4,007 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Ford Fusion Energi

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I look at this car just about exactly the same way I look at the C-MAX Energi. It would be good for college and a short-commuting job. Although, really, for the money you would spend on the Fusion Energi, I think you would be better off saving up a little longer and getting a Chevy Volt–it has almost double the electric range, and is set to have a substantial upgrade soon.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | Volt | Fusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid commercial for range anxiety spoofs pharmaceutrical ads chainsaw

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

Type: Plug-in hybrid

MSRP: $34,600

Total Range: 600 miles

Battery Range: 27 miles

MPG Equivalent: 99 MPGe combined

Gas MPG: 40 MPG combined

The Hyundai Sonata Plug-in is the first plug-in hybrid variant in the nameplate which has been around since the ’80s. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in is also visually distinct from other Sonata models, as it includes a unique grille, front bumper (and fenders), rear bumper, and front and rear lights. It is available for sale only in select markets (California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

The Sonata Plug-in is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric engine, creating a total of 202 hp and a total of 291 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai reports that the Sonata Plug-in take “less than three hours” to charge at a 240V charging station, and “less than nine hours” with a normal outlet.

On the outside, the Sonata Plug-in features its own specific boy work (mentioned above), 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, side-mirror-mounted turn signal lights, door handle welcome light, hands-free smart trunk with auto open. On the inside, it is equipped with a number of driving assist systems, including Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, a rearview camera, and a navigation system. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in sports HD Radio, Hyundai’s Blue Link car management system, smartphone/USB ports, SiriusXM radio, dual automatic temperature control, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The Sonata Plug-in is eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Hyundai is doing something that I think is kind of interesting with the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. Yes, it is a plug-in version of an existing model, but it also comes with a distinctive body style so that it stands out from all the other Sonata drivers out there.

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2016 Audi A3

2016 Audi A3 e-tron

Type: PHEV

MSRP: $37,900

Total Range: 380-430 miles

Battery Range: 16-17 miles

MPG equivalent: 83-86 MPGe combined

Gas MPG: 35-39 MPG combined

Audi is striding grandly into its first electric hybrid vehicle, as a member of the existing line of Audi A3s. Unlike some of the other A3 models, though, the A3 e-tron only comes as a “Sportback,” or a hatchback. Other unique features of the A3 include a special “ultra” variant which adds 16-inch ultra-low rolling resistance tires, adding 50 miles of total range, one more mile of all-electric range, three more MPGe, and four more MPG on gas power. In addition, the A3 e-tron can be coupled with the Audi energy program, which can include residential solar panel installation to cut the power plant out of the charging equation.

The Audi A3 e-tron is powered by a combination of a 1.4-liter gas engine and an electric motor, delivering a total of 204 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. When plugged into a dedicated 240V charging port, the A3 charges from empty in 2 hours and 15 minutes. When plugged into a normal 110V outlet, that time extends to about 8 hours.

On the exterior, the A3 sports automatic xenon headlights, but LED running lights and taillights. In addition, it sports power-adjustable heated side mirrors, automatic wipers and an integrated roof spoiler. Inside, Audi has outfitted the A3 with luxury features like automatic climate control, leather seats, HD Radio, SiriusXM radio, an SD card slot, Bluetooth technologies, and a rear view camera.

Side note: in the A3 e-tron brochure, Audi compares hybrids in general to plain old salads, and the A3 in particular to one with hazelnuts with Himalayan pink sea salt, “locally sourced oak leaf lettuce,” “quadruple-washed” red leaf lettuce, “farm fresh, organic baby kale,” “artisinal, rustic-grilled, herb-roasted focaccia” croutons, and “Non-GMO rosette bok choy.”

The Audi A3 e-tron comes with a $4,158 federal tax credit.

Editors Notes on the Audi A3 e-tron

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

The A3 e-tron is a great-looking car, and that makes the strange salad page from Audi’s brochure all the more baffling. Honestly, Audi, you have a nice car. You don’t need to try to distract us with some ridiculous salad thing that almost comes across as heavily sarcastic satire.

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Tesla-Power B-Class Electric Drive

2016 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $41,450

Range: 87-104 miles

MPG equivalent: 85/82/84 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

The B-Class is Mercedes’ stab at a five-seat electric hatchback, with an engine (developed in collaboration with Tesla, apparently) that produces a respectable 174 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the B-Class is only available in the select states of California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. For this car, you can charge using a 120V socket for an indeterminate amount of time, or you can use a dedicated 240V wall charger, which will fill it up in 3.5 hours, with no quick-charging port. This time is lengthened if you have the B-class EV charge using its temporary range-extender, which will temporarily provide an additional 17 or so miles of range, bringing the car’s maximum up to 104 miles.

On the outside, the B-class has rain-sensing wipers, an automatic rear wiper, and 17-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires. Inside, the B-class sports 10-way power leatherette front seats with adjustable lumbar support, driver seat memory settings for three drivers, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and a long list of safety features.

The Mercedes-Benz B-class EV comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors Notes on the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I was interested by the B-Class at first, but for the money, I would save a little more and just buy the BMW i3–it has more features, it can have a little bitty range extender that takes it up to 150 miles, and it looks much, much better.

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2015 BMW i3 overview front

2016 BMW i3

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $42,400

Total Range: 81 miles

MPG equivalent: 137/111/124 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

The i3 is one of a pair of BMW’s current electric cars (the other, the i8, we will discuss later). The BMW i3 is a compact hatchback powered by a motor which produces 170 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. When plugged in with the provided “occasional use” charge cord, it takes 20 hours to charge, but when plugged into a dedicated 240V station (available with financing and a $100 rebate), that time is slashed to about 3.5 hours.

As for exterior features, the i3 has LED head, accent, running, and brake lights, a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof, rear coach doors (hinged in the rear), auto-dimming mirrors (which are on the inside as well), automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rear Park Distance Control system, and ground-illuminating lights in door handles. Inside, the i3 sports three-stage heated front seats, Active wool cloth seats, Slide-through interior floor design, Kenaf interior dash and door panels, a multi-function steering wheel, BMW Navigaiton Business system with iDrive Controller and 6.5-inch high-resolution screen, BMW TeleService, Bluetooth hands-free calling, an on-board computer that provides feedback on the vehicle’s operating status, Dynamic Cruise Control, Automatic climate control, and, of course, a USB connection.

The BMW i3 comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

The i3 also comes in a semi-PHEV version:

DriveNow BMW i3

2016 BMW i3 with Range Extender

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $46,250

Total Range: 150 miles

Battery Range: 72 miles

MPG equivalent: 117 MPGe Combined

Gas MPG: 39 MPG Combined

The i3 with Range Extender is simply the regular i3 plus a tiny two-cylinder generator with a 2.4-gallon tank. This works to charge the battery, thus increasing the total range to 150 miles, but not making the Range Extender i3 (or i3 REX) a “true” plug-in hybrid.

The BMW i3 REX comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the BMW i3

Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore

I remember the first time I sat in an i3. It was at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, and it was so freaking awesome. It’s pricey for sure, but if you’ve got enough money to buy an EV from BMW, I don’t think you’ll be too concerned with the price tag. The BMW i8 was roped off, so I couldn’t try it on for size, but I have a feeling that driving an i8 would be equally—if not even more—delicious.

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I was very impressed while researching the i3. It has tons of premium features (by the way, Keraf is a plant similar to flax), and just plain looks good.

Kudos to BMW on a fantastic little car.

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BMW 3 Series 330e

BMW 330e

Type: Plug-in hybrid

MSRP: $43,700

Total Range: 350 miles

Battery Range: 22 miles

MPG Equivalent: 72 MPGe combined

Gas MPG: 31 MPG combined

BMW is continuing to expand on its promise to provide plug-in hybrids in each of its core models, in this case releasing a plug-in version of its 3 Series Sedan.

The 330e is driven by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine connected to an eDrive electric motor, for a total power output of 247 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, the 330e can be recharged at a normal outlet in somewhere between 2 and 4 hours (although they are assuming regular use, rather than an empty battery. The automaker also says that that time is reduced when plugged into a dedicated charging station (whether at home or at a public station), where from empty, it can charge in a little over 2 hours.

On the outside, the 330e features double-spoke light alloy wheels with run-flat all-season tires, halogen headlights, LED fog lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and power-folding heated side mirrors. Inside, the 330e has front sport seats with memory settings for the driver, SensaTec upholstery, 40/20/40 split fold-down through-load rear seats, Anthracite trim elements, a USB audio connection, Dynamic Cruise Control, steering-wheel-mounted controls, automatic climate control, automatic-dimming mirrors, a universal garage-door opener, four 12V power sockets, and a HiFi Sound System.

As of time of writing, the tax credit eligibility of the 330e was not official.

Editors’ Notes on the BMW 330e

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

Interesting note: BMW now has more electric cars than any other brand on this list.

Go BMW.

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BMW X5

BMW X5 xDrive40e

Type: Plug-in hybrid

MSRP: $62,100

Total Range: 540 miles

Battery Range: 13 miles

MPG Equivalent: 56 MPGe combined

Gas MPG: 24 MPG combined

BMW’s plans to build a plug-in hybrid version of each of its cars is still on track, in this case causing the German automaker to take its first step into the much less-populated field of plug-in SUVs.

The X5 xDrive40e is powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine combined with an eDrive electric motor for a total power output of 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. When plugged into a regular home outlet, the X5 xDrive40e will charge in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. At 240V with a dedicated charger, that time is cut to about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Outside, the X5 xDrive40e features V-spoke light alloy wheels with run-flat all-season tires, Xenon adaptive headlights with dynamic auto-leveling, Corona headlight rings and cornering lights, LED fog lights, Power-folding heated side mirrors, matte black roof rails, roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, high-gloss black Aero Blades, a panoramic two-pane moonroof, power tailgate, automatic tilt-down of the right outside mirror when backing up, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Inside, the X5 xDrive40e has heated front seats, a 4/20/40 split-folding rear seat, poplar wood trim, velour cargo area carpeting, automatic dual-zone climate control, front and rear Park Distance Controls, power outlets in three locations (including trunk), universal garage-door opener, USB connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, Mobile Office features, steering-wheel-mounted controls, Dynamic cruise control, BMW Navigation system, an HD Radio, and a HiFi sound system.

The BMW X5 xDrive40e is eligible for a federal tax credit of $4,668.

Editors’ Notes on the BMW X5 xDrive40e

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

BMW is really keeping up on its promise to make plug-ins across its entire lineup.

I do have to say, though, velour carpeting in the trunk? The Corleones should be proud.

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The 2016 Volvo XC90 SUV has taken the crown has the 2016 Yahoo Autos Ride of the Year

2016 Volvo VC90
Photo: © Joshua Lanzarini

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $68,100

Total Range: 350 miles

Battery Range: 14 miles

MPG equivalent: 53 MPGe

Gas MPG: 25 MPG combined

As Volvo releases its redesigned XC90 SUV, it is also releasing a plug-in hybrid version of the same, making it even more unique as one of the few plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market. This is the first major redesign of the XC90 since its first introduction in 2003.

The XC90 plug-in is powered by a turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to make 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Charging in a 240V station takes 2 and a half hours, and that time extends to about 7 hours plugged into a standard 120V outlet.

On the outside, the XC90 plug-in gets 19-inch wheels, LED foglights, heated mirrors, panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, a hands-free power tailgate, a rearview camera, LED adaptive headlights, and LED running lights. Inside, the XC90 is decked out, with four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a number of infotainment systems, voice controls, a 10-speaker sound system, auxiliary audio input jack, and USB port.

The XC90 plug-in comes eligible for a $4,585 tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Here comes Volvo to join the crowd in the electric market!

I am happily surprised that Volvo’s first plug-in car went right for the SUV option, rather than creating its own small, zippy car (which, honestly, the market needs to get away from in today’s SUV- and truck-crazy car market).

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Tesla Model S

Image: Tesla

Tesla Model S

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: $71,500

Range: 234 miles

MPG equivalent: 88/90/89 MPG City/Highway/Combined

Ah, the Model S. This car is widely considered one of the best electric cars that currently exist, if not one of the best cars on the market, period. This is the only vehicle ever to score at higher than a perfect 100 in Consumer Reports testing. Following the debut of Tesla’s newest vehicle, the Model 3, the Model S is seeing some changes – first, it dropped the lowest trim, leaving only three trim levels starting at the 70, which has a range of 234 miles in the rear wheel drive configuration. In addition, it has received an update to its looks, removing the faux grille in favor with the “mustache” on the Model X and Model 3, plus upgrades to the car’s range, headlights, and charger capacity. As such, it saw a slight price bump.

To charge this monster, you need to use a dedicated dual charger with 80 amps of flow (which could one day look like a snake that plugs into your car for you), which charges the smaller Tesla battery in 3.5 hours or the larger one in 4.5 hours. Or, you could take the car to one of the members of Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network, where you can use that charger to fill up the battery in about an hour. Tesla also offers an adapter to allow you to connect to CHAdeMO DC chargers, further increasing your charging options.

This is a seriously good car. We realize this sounds like geeking out. It is.

On the exterior, the Model S sports either 19-inch or 21-inch tires, rain-sensing wipers, zero-profile door handles that extend when the key fob is nearby, automatically-opening charging door, and trunks front and rear (yes, a trunk and a frunk). The battery pack which covers the bottom creates a flat surface, and the smart air suspension lowers the car at high speeds to reduce drag. Electronic vents remain closed to reduce drag until air cooling is needed. For controls, the Model S sports a 17-inch touchscreen with night and day brightness modes that controls most all of the car’s functions, including opening the panoramic glass roof, adjusting the automatic climate control, viewing the backup camera, choosing music, and checking on real-time energy consumption and remaining range.

Buy this car. If we buy enough of them, there will be more, and they may be even better.

The Tesla Model S comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Tesla Model S

Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore

If you have the money, spend it on this car. Right now, I drive a used Toyota Yaris because it’s what I could afford a couple years back, but I long for the day that I can buy this car. Seriously. Buy one. Now. Do it.

DO ITTTTTT.

Daniel SuscoDaniel Susco

Despite everything I have said so far about how I liked the Volt or the i3, if I had the money, I would buy the Model S in a heartbeat. Also, I would like to apologize on the highly opinionated nature of the above overview, but the Model S is just sincerely one of the best cars available.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

I have to agree with my fellow editors here–the Model S is an exceptional car, and if I had a spare $70K or so it’d be mine. Something that stood out to me was the option of rear-facing seats in the “trunk” that’ll fit a couple of extra kids. As a new parent, I’ve had to deal with the horrifying understanding of why people buy minivans once they have two or more kids (or even one kid with lots of friends). Not that the Model S has the same amount of space as a minivan, but let’s face it, if you need to pop a couple of extra kids in your car from time to time, wouldn’t you opt to do it in a Tesla rather than a minivan if you had the funds?

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2016 Cadillac ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR Coupe

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $75,000

Total Range: 340 miles

Battery Range: 40 miles

MPG equivalent: 85/80/82 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

Gas MPG: 32/35/33 MPG City/Highway/Combined

The Cadillac ELR Coupe is an elegant, angular coupe with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor to produce an impressive 233 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. After depleting the respectable 40 miles of all-battery power, you can recharge the ELR with a 120V outlet in 12.5-18 hours or at a 240V station in 5 hours.

On the outside, the ELR makes use of 20-inch aluminum wheels, LED head and taillights, heated mirrors, recessed door handles, active aero grille shutters which close at highway speeds to increase aerodynamics, automatic highbeams, rain-sensing wipers, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the ELR has many features, including an Active Noise Cancellation system, adaptive remote start (which turns on climate control, heated seats, and defroster if needed), a Bose 10-speaker system, a heated steering wheel, Lane Departure Warning system, and OnStar systems (plus more).

The Cadillac ELR Coupe comes with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Cadillac ELR Coupe

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I definitely don’t think I would mind driving this car.

I mean, if you’re offering. Maybe.

Please?

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2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $77,200

Total Range: 480 miles

Battery Range: 14 miles

MPG equivalent: 47 MPGe Combined

Gas MPG: 21/24/22 MPG City/Highway/Combined

The 2016 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid has the largest gas engine so far on this list, with a supercharge 3.0-liter V6 connected to an electric motor to produce 416 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque. So, while its all-electric range is low, its combined power is super high (the electric motor only produces 95 of that total horsepower). Using the included 3.6 kW charger and a high-voltage current will charge the battery in 2.7 hours, with an optional 7.2 kW charger slicing that time down to 1.35 hours.

Outside, the Cayenne possesses mirror-integrated turn signals, a range of tire sizes, daytime running lights, LED taillights, integrated tailpipes, acid-green-colored braking system, and four-LED spotlights in each headlight. The interior is designed around the driver with a rising center console (to be closer to hand while driving) and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid comes with a $5,335.50 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Researching this and the other two Porsches on the list was difficult. Since the Porsche model pages are all very much centered on “We’re really good, look at how lovely our car looks” that specific details like charging times and specific features fall by the wayside.

Cat HilesCat Hiles

Have you seen this car in real life? I have (the gas version, at least), and it’s weird. It’s like Porsche enlisted the help of Kermit when designing the Cayenne. For around the same price as this plug-in, you can get the all-electric Tesla Model S, which does not look like a frog.

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Model XTesla Model X

Type: Electric Vehicle

MSRP: starting at $83,000

Range: 237 miles

The second model from the now-famous electric car producer Tesla, the Model X shares a large amount of parts with its predecessor the Model S, although converting it to a grille-less SUV with a massive windshield and Falcon-door wings.

Since the Model X was originally offered only in 90D and P90D configurations, it is oddly difficult to find information specific to its base model, the 75D, which is equipped with a smaller 75 kWh battery. However, in the interest of providing the most accurate information possible, the following information will be about the 90D or P90D.

The Model X is powered by dual motors in the front and rear, with the 90D’s offering 259 hp each for a total of 518 hp (the P90D boosts the rear motor to 503 hp for a total of 763 hp). Tesla only offers torque numbers for the P90D at 713 lb-ft of torque. PlugInCars.com estimates that the Model X charges at a rate of about 30 miles of range per hour from a 240V source, so from empty, it would take about 8 hours to charge all the way up. With the addition of Tesla’s High Power Wall Connector and twin-charger, that time is halved. At a Supercharger station, PlugInCars estimates that the Model X can charge as much as 170 miles in a half-hour, leading to a full charge from empty in under an hour.

On the outside, the Model X looks a fair amount like a taller version of the Model S, but without the faux grille (instead opting for a sort of “mustache”), and with the addition of a very tall windshield and those iconic Falcon-wing doors. The Model X also has rain-sensing adjustable-speed windshield wipers, flush-mounted door handles, power-folding heated side mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, backlit side turn signals, and LED taillights and stop lamp. The inside can come with anywhere from five to seven seats, where the front seats are heated with memory systems. Also on the inside are four USB outlets, microfiber and synthetic leather interior surfaces, wood accents, auto-dimming mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, backup camera, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a nine-speaker stereo system.

The Tesla Model X is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Tesla Model X

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

The Model S is great, but this is a pretty awesome car as well. The only problem, though, is that the Model X seems to have been having a few problems: delays on its initial release, and a few people have had problems with those iconic Falcon-wing doors.

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One Tweet may cost Drummond &25,000.

2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $95,575

Total Range: 450 miles

Battery Range: 18 miles

MPG equivalent: 54/63/58 MPGe City/Highway/Combined

Gas MPG: 24/30/26 MPG City/Highway/Combined

Ah, much better. For 2016, the S550e has received a pretty significant visual refresh, now looking very stately and hopefully being offered more widely than a few areas of California.

The 2016 S550e proceeds by the grace of a 3.0-liter boturbo V6 engine paired to an electric motor, creating a total of 436 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. When plugged in, the S550e takes about 2 hours to charge at a 240V power source or between 4 and 5 hours with a normal 120V outlet. Interestingly, though, the S550e allows a third way to charge: due to its torque-y engine, the S550e can recharge its battery on the fly.

When it comes to features, the S550e is richly appointed. On the outside, the S550e sports all-LED lighting, 19-inch twin five-spoke alloy wheels with Extended Mobility tires, a “panorama” roof (a two-pane sunroof where the front panel can slide back over the rear), illuminated door sills, soft-close doors, an electronic trunk closer, an illuminated entry system, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Inside, you will find all-LED lighting, a pair of 12.3-inch high-resolution instrument screens, a wood and leather steering wheel with incorporated controls, a rearview camera, a specialized cabin fragrance system (seriously), leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115V power outlet, a Burrmester Surround Sound System, 80GB hard-drive navigation, dual USB audio ports, SiriusXM Radio and Traffic and Weather services, 10GB music register, Near-Field Communication (where you pair your mobile device with the car’s infotainment system to share information when nearby), a Bluetooth interface, Gracenote media database, an SD card reader, and an in-dash six-disc DVD/CD changer.

The Mercedes-Benz S550e does not, at time of writing, have official tax credit numbers available.

Editors’ Notes on the Mercedes-Benz S550e

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Whew.

It’s a good thing I didn’t try to describe all the optional features.

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2016 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2016 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $96,100

Total Range: 540 miles

Battery Range: 15 miles

MPG equivalent: 51 MPGe

Gas MPG: 25 MPG Combined

Like the last two entries on this list, the 2016 Panamera S E-Hybrid is also powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine combined with an electric motor. This combination produces 416 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque. To charge, Porsche recommends you use an approved Porsche wall charger, which will fill the battery in 2.3 hours.

Exterior features include ran-sensing wipers, a rear wiper, power glass sunroof, rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic delay-off headlights, cornering lights, high-pressure headlamp washers, Xenon high-intensity headlamps, and front and rear parking sensors. Inside, the Panamera S E-Hybrid contains multi-level heated leather front seats, steering-wheel mounted controls for transmission, cruise control, and audio system, dual-zone climate controls, extended cabin heating, electrochromatic inside rearview mirror, and memory systems for two drivers, including remembering climate control settings.

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid comes with a $4,751.80 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I would say something about the battery range being pretty tiny for such an expensive car, but fuel economy isn’t really what you buy a Porsche for, is it?

No, you buy a Porsche to show your neighbors who’s boss, and then ride off in comfy seats with a 400-hp engine pulling you along.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2015 BMW i8 Chicago

2015 BMW i8

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $140,700

Total Range: 330 miles

Battery Range: 15 miles

MPG equivalent: 76 MPGe Combined

Gas MPG: 28 MPG Combined

The BMW i8 is the second of the “i” pair. Whereas the i3 from earlier in this list was a smaller hatchback, the i8 is a long, low sports car. The only difference between the 2016 model and the 2015 is the addition of optional Laserlight headlights.

It is powered by a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder engine connected to an electric motor, together producing 357 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a car that can sprint from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Using a 120V charger, the i8 can be at full in 3.5 hours, and with a 240V charger, that number becomes 1.5 hours.

The i8’s exterior features include all-LED exterior lighting, 20-inch wheels, automatic headlights, front and rear park assist, auto-dimming mirrors, an overhead viewing system, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, scissor doors, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Inside, there is leather upholstery, BMW’s Navigation Professional system with touchpad controller, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information, Enhanced USB, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free calling, Mobile Office features, optional Message Dictation, a two-tone horn, Park Distance Control, Dynamic Cruise Control, and, of course, a 12V power socket in the center console.

The BMW i8 comes with a $3,793 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the BMW i8

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

Wow that would be a cool car to drive. I think that if I were to give any car on this list the title of “most cool,” the i8 wouldn’t have shown up to the award ceremony because it was off saving a young woman from an exploding building, which the i8 at no point looks at.

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Type: Plug-in Hybrid

MSRP: $845,000

Total Range: 420 miles

Battery Range: 12 miles

MPG equivalent: 67 MPGe Combined

Gas MPGe: 22 MPG Combined

The Porsche 918 Spyder gets the distinctions of being both the most expensive car on this list and the car with the largest engine with a 4.6-liter V8 mated to two electric motors, bringing the total power to 887 hp and 940 lb-ft of torque. What does that look like in action? Well, if you aren’t careful, it looks like this. That is some serious power, and in an electric motor, that torque is instant.

Plugged into a 120V outlet, the Spyder charges in a little less than 7 hours, or when connected to a DC fast charger, less than 30 minutes.

This car is all about the speed, but still has some nice features, with, on the outside, a removable hard top, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlamps, a rear view camera, and 21-inch allow wheels. On the inside, the Spyder continues with premium features like leather seats, hands-free entry, transmission, cruise and audi controls on the steering wheel, dual zone climate control, 11 Burmester premium brand speakers, auxiliary and USB audio inputs with external media control, memory car slot, Bluetooth wireless data link, and alloy, carbon, and leather trim.

The Porsche 918 Spyder comes with a $3,667 federal tax credit.

Editors’ Notes on the Porsche 918 Spyder

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

I can’t even imagine having enough money to drive this car, but it definitely would be awesome (right up until I accidentally crashed it trying to go through a Wendy’s drive-through somewhere, because in some situations almost 1000 lb-ft of torque is just too much).

Fortwo Electric | i-MiEV | Spark EV | E-Golf | LEAF | Focus Electric | C-MAX Energi | 500e | Soul EV | VoltFusion Energi | Sonata Plug-in | A3 e-tron | B-Class Electric Drive | i3 |  330e | X5 xDrive40e | XC90 T8 Twin EngineModel S | ELR Coupe | Cayenne S E-Hybrid Model X | S550e | Panamera S E-Hybrid | i8 | 918 Spyder

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  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.