Electric Cars For Sale In 2015
For information on electric cars available in Europe, check out this more comprehensive commercially available electric car list.
Basic Electric Car Answers
- Electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity.
- Some EVs run 100% on electricity, while others (hybrid electric vehicles) run partly on electricity and partly on some other fuel (e.g., gas or diesel). Vehicles that can at times run solely on electricity, and can be plugged in to charge their batteries, are called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
- 100% electric vehicles and PHEVs are clearly much better for the environment (and, thus, humans) than their gasoline-powered cousins. Their fuel (electricity) is also much cheaper.
Currently Available Electric Cars
The following are electric cars that are for sale today in the US or are supposed to be for sale at some point in 2015.
The first prices listed are base prices before the federal tax credit, and in parenthesis are prices after the federal tax credit (normally $7,500, but often less than that if the cars aren’t 100% electric cars). Other tax credits and rebates potentially available in your city or state (such as the $2,500 California EV rebate or $5,000 Georgia EV tax credit) are not included.
Links on the car names are mostly to our story archives for these cars. Links on the prices are to the car companies’ pages for the cars.
Range and MPGe/MPG data come from the EPA.
Check these electric cars out and go test drive some this weekend!
|Combined Fuel Economy||# of Seats|
|Range on Electricity||Type of EV|
|Price (& Price after US Federal Tax Credit)||0-60 time|
|50 miles (80 km)||100% electric|
|I’m seeing $12,490 (on eBay)||Top speed = 50 mph (80 km/h)|
The Renault Twizy is a cute and fun little two-seater that comes in at a super affordable price. With just two seats, it’s clearly not a “family car,” but it is a ton of fun to drive and very adequate for most driving needs. Despite (or because of) its small size, the Twizy was the 10th-best-selling electric car in Europe and 15th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. It’s really a blast to drive. I’d recommend it. Read my full Twizy review here.
|112 MPGe||4 seats|
|62 miles (100 km)||100% electric|
|$22,995 ($15,495)||13.5 seconds|
The Mitsubishi i (aka Mitsubishi i-MiEV) is one of the most basic electric cars on the market, but also one of the cheapest. As noted below, the Citröen C-Zero, Peugeot iOn, and Mitsubishi i all have essentially the same design but serve different markets.
Smart Electric Drive
|107 MPGe||2 seats|
|68 miles (109 km)||100% electric|
|$25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental ($17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month)||9.8 seconds|
The smart electric drive could be the cheapest electric car on the US market… if you don’t own or lease it for very long. However, due to an $80/month battery rental, the price rises to about the same as a 2014 Mitsubishi i within 3 years (note that the Mitsubishi i seats 4, while the smart electric drive seats two). Within about 6 years, the smart electric drive is about the same price as a 5-seat and much more plush Nissan Leaf. In my personal opinion, the smart electric drive is a hard sell — unless you really want a tiny car or only want it for 2 to 3 years. Read my review of the smart electric drive here or the review of an owner who sold his Camaro for the smart electric drive here.
Chevy Spark EV
|119 MPGe||4 seats|
|82 miles (132 km)||100% electric|
|$25,995 ($18,495)||7.2 seconds|
The Chevy Spark EV is a low-priced 100%-electric car that has gotten good reviews (compared to its gasoline cousin, that is) but is only available in a few markets. The Chevy Spark EV was the first car on the market that could use the SAE Combo Fast Charging system.
|114 MPGe||5 seats|
|84 miles (135 km)||100% electric|
|$29,010 ($21,510)||10.2 seconds|
The Nissan Leaf is seemingly the most competitive electric car on the market. It is the world’s best-selling electric car, and sales have only been increasing (thanks to falling prices and word of mouth). After test driving several EVs myself, I have to say that it would be hard to beat the Nissan Leaf for the money… unless you have enough money to dump on a higher-end EV, like the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, or BMW i3. Read my full Nissan Leaf review here.
Ford Focus Electric
|105 MPGe||5 seats|
|76 miles (122 km)||100% electric|
|$29,170 ($21,670)||10.1 seconds|
The Ford Focus Electric is Ford’s only 100%-electric car has long been overpriced and simply unable to compete with competitors like the Nissan Leaf. It has long been priced considerably higher than the Nissan Leaf — which is also more widely available — but Ford finally knocked the price down by several thousand dollars in recent months… but with very little broadcasting of the price drop. Needless to say, it still isn’t selling nearly as well as the Leaf.
Toyota Prius Plug-in
|95 MPGe on battery; 50 MPG on gas||5 seats|
|11 miles (18 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$29,990 ($27,490)||10.2 seconds|
The Toyota Prius Plug-in was either the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013. Unfortunately, its electric range is just 11 miles, then the gas engine kicks in. The Prius PHEV is most likely aided by the strong, high-selling Prius brand. It mainly competes with the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, and Ford Fusion Energi, but it has more seats than the Volt and is almost $10,000 cheaper than the Fusion Energi. So, its closest competitor is probably the Ford C-Max Energi. This seems to be a good place in the EV spectrum, as both cars have been doing quite well. Of course, the C-Max Energi has 10 more miles of electric range, almost double the Prius PHEV’s 11 miles. Either due to the increasing competition, people simply deciding they want more electric range, or Toyota cutting supply, sales of the Prius Plug-in fell off a lot toward the end of 2014.
Ford C-Max Energi
|100 MPGe on battery; 43 MPG on gas||5 seats|
|21 miles (34 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$31,770 ($28,010)||8.5 seconds|
One of two cars in Ford’s Energi (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) lineup, the Ford C-Max Energi has quite good specs for someone who doesn’t drive very far on most days but wants to take very long trips fairly regularly. It’s also good for larger families, as it seats up to 5 people. Despite seating 5, it is cheaper than the Chevy Volt… until you factor in the federal tax credit. The C-Max Energi is also the most efficient plug-in hybrid electric car on the market. As a result of all of this, the car has sold quite well. Despite only being available in the US, the C-Max Energi was the 8th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013.
|115 MPGe||4 seats|
|87 miles (140 km)||100% electric|
|$31,800 ($24,300)||8.7 seconds|
The Fiat 500e has gotten great reviews. However, the head of Fiat apparently hates electric cars (I know, crazy) and is only producing the 500e in extremely limited quantities for a couple of states (basically, because it has to in order to sell cars in California). Hopefully the cute electric car will someday soon be available to a broader market. With its relatively low price, good reviews, and cool styling, it could give some of the top-selling electric cars on the market a run for their market.
Kia Soul EV
|105 MPGe||5 seats|
|93 miles (150 km)||100% electric|
|$33,700 ($26,200)||11.8 seconds|
The Kia Soul EV is a snazzy electric vehicle with a bit more space on the inside than the average car, and a clear youngster appeal. With good specs and a decent price, the Soul EV could sell well… if Kia really tries to sell it. Also, hamsters love the thing.
|106 MPGe (battery); 43 MPG (gas)||5 seats|
|50 miles (80 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$33,170 ($25,670)||8.4 seconds|
The Chevy Volt is one of the most widely acclaimed electric cars on the market. It is the top-selling electric car in the US to date. In 2013, it was the 2nd-best-selling electric car in the world. Volt owners are known as Voltheads and were “the happiest drivers” in the US for two years running… before the Tesla Model S arrived (as per Consumer Reports owner satisfaction surveys).
Ford Fusion Energi
|100 MPGe||5 seats|
|21 miles (34 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$33,900 ($29,893)||7.9 seconds|
Quite similar to the Ford C-Max Energi but with a few more bells & whistles, the Ford Fusion Energi has done quite well since its introduction in February 2013. The Ford Fusion Energi certainly offers some competition to the Chevy Volt, the Toyota Prius Plug-in, and its sister, the C-Max Energi. Importantly, for some people, it is larger than all three of these competitors. It has a bit less electric range than the Volt, but it has enough seats for five passengers. (It has much more electric range than the Prius, and the same as the C-Max Energi — both of which seat 5.) And it is quite the looker.
|116 MPGe||5 seats|
|83 miles (134 km)||100% electric|
|$28,995 ($21,495) / €34,900 (Germany)||10.4 seconds|
The Volkswagen e-Golf is VW’s second electric car, following close behind the VW e-Up! Clearly, it’s an electric version of VW’s extremely popular Golf model. The e-Golf is one of the closest competitors to the world-leading Nissan LEAF, so it could potentially see very big sales numbers. However, its significantly higher price is certainly keeping sales down a lot, so VW will have to change that if it actually wants to sell this car. Read our VW e-Golf review here.
Honda Accord PHEV
|115 MPGe on battery; 46 MPG on gas||5 seats|
|13 miles (21 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$39,780 ($36,154)||7.7 seconds|
Coming in a bit higher in price than the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi, and Ford Fusion Energi has certainly hurt the Honda Accord Plug-in‘s sales. However, limited availability has likely had an even stronger impact on those sales. Furthermore, having just 13 miles of electric range doesn’t particularly excite would-be electric car buyers. The good news is that the Accord Plug-in is very efficient when using the electric motor. But, yeah, this is a compliance car.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric
|84 MPGe||5 seats|
|84 miles (135 km)||100% electric|
|$41,450 ($33,950)||7.9 seconds|
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric is an extremely close competitor to the BMW i3, and is a first-offering from Mercedes in this department. It has Tesla interiors, and reviewers have been split between it and the BMW i3, with some preferring the i3 and some preferring the B-Class Electric. One of my friends recently bought the B-Class Electric and reviewed it for us here.
|124 MPGe||4 seats|
|81 miles (130 km)||100% electric or REx|
|$42,400 ($34,900)||7.1 seconds|
The BMW i3 is BMW’s first 100%-electric car built electric from the ground up. It is part of BMW’s “born electric” i series. It’s price puts it somewhat in the middle of the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S. Despite looking a bit bulky, the BMW i3 is the lightest electric car on the market, thanks to its carbon fiber body. It’s a smooth & sweet drive. Compared to BMW’s overall sales, the i3 is selling very well, making it clear that BMW is one of the auto-manufacturing pioneers in the electric vehicle space. Read my full BMW i3 review here.
Tesla Model S
|95 MPGe||5–7 seats|
|208 miles (335 km) | 253 (407) | 265 (426) | 270 (435)||100% awesome|
|$70,000 ($62,250)||3.2–5.9 seconds|
The Tesla Model S is widely regarded as not just the best electric car on the market, but the best car of any type on the mass market (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples). So, for many people, if they can afford a $70,000–$120,000 car, the Model S is as good as it gets.
This car has flipped the electric car and overall auto world on its head in many respects. It is a top-selling luxury/performance car, and it was the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013, despite its high price tag. All the while, it was production-limited rather than demand-limited.
|82 MPGe (battery) & 31 MPG (gas)||4 seats|
|37 miles (60 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$65,000 ($57,500)||7.8 seconds|
The Cadillac ELR is a high-end, luxury, plug-in hybrid electric car that hit the market at the very end of 2013. In many respects, it is essentially a more luxurious Chevy Volt. It is pretty. Though, its high price was hard to justify compared to other options on the table, so you can now find the car for a price much below its MSRP… as in, cuts of nearly $30,000.
Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
|47 MPGe||5 seats|
|14 miles (23 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$77,200 ($71,864)||5.4 seconds|
Following the successful Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (see below), Porsche launched the Cayenne S E-Hybrid at the end of 2014. The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 151 mph. I think “wicked” is the word for that.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
|50 MPGe||4 seats|
|22 miles (35 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$96,100 ($91,328)||5.2 seconds|
The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid electric sports car that is everything you’d expect — awesome. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in ~5 seconds. The Panamera S E-Hybrid now accounts for nearly 10% of all Panamera sales.
|76 MPGe||4 seats|
|15 miles (24 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
|$135,700 ($131,907)||4.4 seconds|
The BMW i8 is BMW’s second i-series car. It’s one of the most expensive cars on the market — actually, the most expensive on the mass market today. It comes with a ton of style and great acceleration (0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds only trails the Tesla Model S P85D’s 3.2 seconds amongst electric cars). It’s hard not to covet this beauty.
Coming in 2015, Details to Follow
Tesla Model X
Tesla’s next model is the ridiculously cool and highly desired Model X, a crossover/SUV with similar performance and specs as the Model S. As Elon Musk has said, the choice between the Model X and Model S is really just whether or not you want an SUV/crossover or a sedan. The Model X is especially special for combining excellent performance, great utility, and hot styling. Not many vehicles can do that. Its signature feature? Its falcon-wing doors.
BMW X5 eDrive
Perhaps the closest competitor to the Model X, the BMW X5 eDrive is a plug-in hybrid electric SUV that will have its fair share of performance (0 to 60 mph in an estimated 6.9 seconds), luxury, and high-tech features. It will be able to learn your driving habits and teach you how to drive more efficiently, it will be able to avoid crashes that some drivers would fail to escape from, and it will probably have a bit more “luxury” than the Model X. On the other hand, it won’t have the acceleration, seating capacity, or looks of th Model X. In order to compete, I’d think the X5 eDrive would have to be quite a bit more affordable than the Model X, which might be hard to pull off.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
|30 miles (48 km)||Plug-in Hybrid|
The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in is a hot plug-in hybrid electric SUV/crossover that has been selling very well in its home country of Japan and initial European markets. It was initially supposed to make it to the US market in 2013, but due to manufacturing delays, the target is now 2015. Despite just hitting the market in the second half of 2013, the Outlander PHEV was the 5th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. Furthermore, it arrived in Europe at the end of the year, and it ranked #3 there, only behind the Nissan Leaf & Renault Zoe. In 2014, the Outlander PHEV was the top-selling EV in Europe.
In the Netherlands, where Outlander PHEVs sells extremely well, prices range from €33,050 ($45,300) to €42,967 ($58,900) before VAT. In Norway, they range from 440,800 kroners ($72,600) to 465,800 kroners ($76,700). In its home country of Japan, the Outlander PHEV starts at 3,397,500 yen ($33,350) and goes up to 4,370,500 yen ($42,900) — 5 different options are available there. Clearly, there’s a ton of variation in price.
Volvo XC90 T8
The Volvo XC90 T8 is yet another plug-in hybrid electric SUV expected to hit the market in 2015. As we reported previously, “Volvo claims that the new T8 ‘Twin Engine’ setup is good for 25 miles (40 km) of pure electric driving, and delivers a total output of 400 HP with more than 470 lb-ft of torque while producing just 60 g/km of C02,” and Volvo claims that the 2015 Volvo XC90 T8 will offer the best performance and fuel economy in its class.
Audi Q7 Plug-in
The Audi Q7 is another plug-in hybrid from Audi. This SUV/crossover will reportedly be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds — hard to beat in this class. The highly awaited luxury plug-in from Audi has a good shot of lifting Audi out of the doldrums of electric inactivity and toward the top of the list for EV enthusiasts. We’ll see.
Audi A3 e-Tron
The Audi A3 e-Tron is already on sale at over 100 German dealerships, but it is no this list because it is expected to make its US debut in 2015. There’s already a US webpage for it, and you can sign up for updates. It’s another plug-in hybrid electric car (this seems to be the theme in 2015, quite different from 2014). The electric-only range is estimated to be 18 miles (29 km), which is not spectacular, but is better than the Toyota Prius Plug-in. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in a 7.6 seconds. It has also landed a difficult 5 stars in Europe’s safety ratings. I think it’ll be hard for the Audi A3 e-Tron to compete with the Chevy Volt or Ford Energi models on value for the money, but some will prefer the e-Tron’s looks and the Audi brand, and the President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, contends that this is not going to be a “compliance car.” We’ll see.
BMW 3 Series Plug-in
As it promised, BMW is continuing the electrification of its entire lineup. It recently announced a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 3 Series, which we are hopeful will hit the market in 2015. As covered over on Planetsave: “The drive system of the new PHEV prototype possesses an output of around 245 hp (183 kW), and maximum torque of around 400 N·m (295 lb-ft). The prototype averages about 2 liters/100 km (117.5 mpg US) with regard to fuel consumption, and about 50 g/km with regard to CO2 emissions. When in all-electric mode, the prototype can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h (74.5 mph), and possesses a range of around 35 kilometers (22 miles).” Note, however, that the range is probably based on European testing, and will likely be closer to 15 miles in the US.
VW Passat GTE Plug-in
The VW Passat GTE Plug-in, unveiled in 2014, is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds, which is respectable for an average-priced car. Of course, being electric, that will feel much faster than a gasoline car with the same time. It will also have a very high top speed of 136 mph (219 km/h). It’s all-electric range will also be very good for a plug-in hybrid: 31 miles / 50 km (though, that figure may be for Europe, and the US one would be quite a bit lower than the Europe one). Sporty, sleek, and with decent specs, if the price is right, this one could sell. Unfortunately, the VW Passat GTE Plug-in is just set for release in Europe at the moment, probably in 2015.
The Rimac Concept_One is no everyman’s car. It is an electric supercar out of Croatia that costs a fortune… as in, $1 million. Needless to say, most of us will be lucky to even see one of these, let alone touch one, let alone ride in one, let alone own one. Still, it’s a beauty worth mentioning, and I’m hopeful it will get produced in 2015. As of now, 88 initial cars are planned for production in 2015. The Rimac Concept_One can reportedly go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and has a horsepower of 1,088. Yep, that’s a “supercar.” Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company, and it recently landed a good bit more investment in order to produce the initial 88 cars.
For a bunch of videos on many of these EVs, check out: 28 Electrified Vehicles, 47 Electrified Vehicle Videos (Commercials, Reviews, Etc.)
Beyond the info above, the following posts may interest you:
- 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars
- Top Electric Car States — Which Has The Highest Percentage Of Electric Cars?
- VW e-Up! Review
- Nissan Leaf vs BMW i3 vs VW e-Up! Review
- Chevy Volt vs Prius Plug-In vs Ford C-MAX Energi
- Chevy Volt Owner Switching To Ford Fusion Energi Rather Than BMW i3
- Chevy Volt Driver’s Savings After One Year (Getting 980 MPG!)
- Electric Vehicle Owners See Their Electric Bills Go Down
- Only 22% of Americans Familiar with Tesla Model S!
- Elon Musk Interviews & Quotes
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk & CTO JB Straubel In Norway Q&A (VIDEOS)
- Co-Founder Of Tesla About Starting Tesla (VIDEO)
- Electric Cars Top Auto Sales In Norway 2 Months In A Row, 7 Reasons Why
- 12% of Cars Sold in Norway in November Were Electric Cars
- EV Battery Prices — The Disruptive Drop In Prices Will Continue (CleanTechnica Exclusive)
- “Insane” GHG Savings From Workplace EV Charging, According To NASA
- Electric Cars May Be 50% On Their Way To Market Domination
- US EV Sales 2014
- Europe EV Sales 2014
- World EV Sales 2014
- Electric Cars = Totally Bloody Awesome To Drive
- 8 Electric Car Benefits
EV Battery Costs
The initial price tag of EVs and PHEVs is higher than that of similarly sized and equipped gasoline-powered cars, mostly because their batteries are expensive. How expensive? That’s hard to know, because car manufacturers generally won’t say what they are paying for their batteries. Here are some of the best answers we’ve got for now:
- Tesla’s current battery packs are estimated to cost $240/kWh, while the rest of the industry is projected to be no lower than $400/kWh.
- According to an April 2012 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, the average price of batteries used in electric vehicles dropped 14% from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, and 30% since 2009.
Here’s some more info from that 2012 BNEF report:
“Electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Motor iMiEV, Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S require between 16 and 85kWh of storage, with a total cost of $11,200 and $34,000, or around 25% of the total cost of the vehicle,” BNEF notes. “Battery pack prices for plug-in hybrid vehicles such as GM’s Volt are on average 67% higher in terms of $/kWh, than those for electric-only vehicles like Nissan’s Leaf. This higher price is mainly due to the greater power-to-energy performance required for plug-in hybrid vehicles.”
Furthermore, here’s a statement from US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, from back in January 2012, on battery costs (emphasis mine):
“Overall, the Department of Energy is partnering with industry to reduce the manufacturing cost of advanced batteries. While a typical battery for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a 40-mile electric range cost $12,000 in 2008, we’re on track to demonstrate technology by 2015 that would reduce the cost to $3,600. And last year, we set a goal of demonstrating technology by 2020 that would further reduce the cost to $1,500 – an accomplishment that could help spur the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”
Also worth noting is the prediction from the CEO and co-founder of EV leader Tesla Motors that the cost of EV batteries will drop below $200 per kWh in the “not-too-distant future” (stated back in February 2012).
UCS Study on Environmental Benefits & Fuel Savings of EVs
The Union of Concerned Scientists in April 2012 completed the most comprehensive study to date on the fuel and environmental costs (or, more appropriately, savings) of electric vehicles. It was then updated in 2014. Factoring in lifecycle emissions, electric cars still crush gasmobiles on environmental performance.
Clearly, as we move more an more to clean, renewable energy in the US, electric vehicles will only become greener and greener to drive.
Furthermore, electric vehicle purchases encourage people to go solar and to cut their overall energy use, factors which have not been adequately studied or quantified yet. If one were to install solar panels on their home, the “fuel” for their EV would be clean, renewable solar power (sunlight) that would make their EV much cleaner than in any state in the UCS study above.
Got more car answers to contribute? Or questions you’d like us to answer?