If you’re shopping for an Electric Car today, you will find more choices than ever. And better still, you have a wide range of pricing and performance to choose from.
2016 BMW i3
The BMW i3 electric occupies a more upscale place in the realm of competitors, offering a decidedly artistic and fashionable approach in its design and execution. Its carbon fiber rich construction, futuristic interior, and extroverted style cannot be mistaken for average.
It’s priced accordingly, starting at $42,000. It has 170 horsepower, a seven-second 0-60 time and a range of 81 miles. You can even option up a gasoline engine packed under the trunk as a range extender which takes it up to 150 miles. But then it’s no longer a pure electric car.
2016 Chevrolet Spark EV
Only available in California, Oregon and Maryland, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV retails for $25,995. It’s one of the few electric-cars also sold in a gasoline version, but still manages to offer a class leading 119 MPGe.
With a range of 82 miles, the sub-compact Spark EV electric motor has an astounding 327 pound-feet of torque and 140 horsepower that gives it a brisk 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds.
2016 Fiat 500e
Another car also sold in gasoline versions is the cheeky Fiat 500e. It’s also quite limited in where you can buy it, only available in California and Oregon.
Priced at $32,300 it has a range of 87 miles and an MPGe rating of 108. Its 111 horsepower motor provides performance similar to or better than some of its gasoline powered counterparts. It comes in unique colors and trims that really set it apart.
2016 Ford Focus Electric
The Ford Focus Electric returns to market for 2016, though it has had a slower sales record than some of its competitors. For 2016 it receives a number of infotainment upgrades like SYNC 3 as well as some revised trims and colors.
It’s priced at $29,170 and offers 143 horsepower. It’s range is class average at 84 miles and can reach a middle ground 110 MPGe. It’s virtually identical to a gas powered Ford Focus with exception of a much smaller cargo area.
2016 Kia Soul EV
The Kia Soul EV is one of the cool kids, much like the Fiat 500e when it comes to character. Priced at $31,950 it’s one of the more fun choices on the market as we found when we’ve test driven it. It has good power with 109 ponies.
Its range is also impressive at 93 miles and when combined with a 120 maximum MPGe rating in the city it’s efficient too. The best part about the Kia Soul EV is that its interior isn’t much impacted by the battery over a gasoline model.
2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e
One of the lesser known EV’s on the market is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, or the B250e. The electric-only model is widely available and motors in the upscale class of compact electrics along side the BMW i3.
Pricing starts at $41,150 but can be optioned up well to $50,000. It offers a range of 87 miles and can perform with 177 horsepower. As such, Mercedes-Benz says it can accelerate from 0-60 in 7.9 seconds.
2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Still on the market is the less mainstream Mitsubishi i-MiEV. We tested it way back when it came here as a 2014 model and were impressed enough with its performance and range. It’s however an extreme micro car by most comparisons.
It is the least expensive EV at $22,995, which can make it pencil quite easily. With its 66 horsepower motor and 62 mile combined city and highway range, it is entry level both in price and in performance.
2016 Nissan Leaf
One of the first mainstream electric cars to market, the 2016 Nissan Leaf brings improvements in range now offering up to 107 miles on a charge with the SV models and up, starting at $34,200. Pricing is $29,010 for the S model which still comes with the smaller battery that has 84 miles range.
Power is the same with either battery at 107 horsepower. When it comes to MPGe ratings it comes in at 114 for the S model and slightly less at 112 MPGe on the SV model and up. The difference is most likely due to the increased weight of the larger battery.
2016 Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S almost occupies exotic car territory, but starting at $75,000 isn’t far from a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-Series in price. And with a base power rating of 328 horses and a base range of 240 miles, it’s not far from their performance specs either.
We drove a Model S earlier this year and were blown away by the instant thrust, silent as a feather in the wind. It’s a real car and their owners will gush on about them for a reason. And then there are the upgrades with ludicrous power that goes past most anything AMG or BMW M offers.
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf
Volkswagen’s antidote for the TDI sickness is a wonderful choice actually in their all-electric e-Golf. Priced at $28,995 it’s only available in limited areas those being California and “Blue States” in the North East.
Limited availability didn’t stop it from outselling the standard Golf gasoline version the last couple months though. It’s powerful with 115 horsepower and can go 83 miles on a charge with a max MPGe rating of 126. And it doesn’t smoke.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will be along by year’s end, just unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show. You can see our reveal video on it by clicking the link below in the information section. It will compete against Nissan Leaf, and Kia Soul in size but offer up to 200 miles of range. Pricing will come in at under $40,000.
Tesla plans to have their new Model X crossover on sale by the end of 2016. The mid-sized crossover will have all-wheel drive based on the same drivetrain and platform bits that have made the Model S a major winner. Complete pricing for the Model X isn’t out but like the Model S, it will cost.
What about the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR?
The Chevrolet Volt and ELR are called extended-range electrics by GM. But we consider them to be plug-in hybrids. A pure electric car does not need a gas station – ever. And while the mechanical operating processes of these two cars are somewhat different than most hybrids, the end result is the same. It’s a gar with a gasoline engine and electric motor you can plug in for extra electric range, but one that will run on gasoline without ever charging it. It’s a plug-in hybrid.