Fuel efficiency is now listed at the top of the list of car shopping wants for both millennials and baby boomers and the auto industry is responding with EVs, PHEVs, hybrids, and an overall improvement in fuel economy. Here’s a look at the most fuel efficient and affordable freen cars with alternative fuel technologies. If you would like to learn more about hybrids, EVs and PHEVs, you can read up on it here.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered purely by the electricity stored in their battery and they release zero tailpipe emissions. At first, consumers were skeptical of electric vehicles, but it has been a few years and the EV segment has evolved and there are now several reliable vehicles that have a great electric range. All electric vehicles are eligible for the entire federal tax credit of $7,500.
The 2017 Mitsubishi i-Miev is the best subcompact sedan when it comes to fuel efficiency and price. The Mitsu i-Miev averages 126 MPGe in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway, which is more than impressive for a subcompact.
The biggest competitor to the i-Miev is the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf averages 124 MPGe in the city and 101 MPGe on the highway, which is more on the highway but slightly less for city driving. However, the Leaf is priced $6,000 more than the i-Miev, which has a starting MSRP of $22,995.
The 2017 Chevy Bolt is an entirely new model and its new technology is big news in the EV industry. The all-new 2017 Chevy Bolt is the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year and it is breaking all types of records. The 2017 Chevy Bolt has a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery that has an electric range of 238 miles and it has a fuel economy of 128 MPGe in the city and 110 MPGe on the highway -- the first for any vehicle that is as affordable as the 2017 Bolt.
Other five-passenger compact sedans like the Volkswagen e-Golf or the Ford Focus EV, are priced lower than the Bolt, but their battery range’s max out between 100 and 124 miles, which is a far cry from the Bolt’s range. Additionally, the Tesla Model 3 will be priced about the same as the Chevy Bolt, but it isn’t expected to have as far of a range as the Bolt.
The 2017 Chevy Bolt has an MSRP of $37,495. You can view the 2017 Chevy Bolt here.
Before we talk about the Kia Soul EV, we want to let you know that the Kia Soul EV is not available in all states at this time. The Kia Soul has been very successful since its debut in 2008 and the electric version of the Soul, has been very successful as well. Laid out differently than a sedan, but not big enough to be an CUV, the Soul EV is typically considered a multipurpose vehicle by many reviewers.
The Soul EV has a battery range of 90 miles and it averages 120 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway. The 2016 Kia Soul is also very affordable, starting at just $33,950. We hope to see the Soul EV available in Florida soon.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are a a mix of a hybrid and an electric vehicle. PHEVs can be powered by the gas engine, the battery, or the gas engine and battery working together. PHEVs are very popular because they offer consumers the option of running on the battery on a daily commute, but the hybrid systems also makes it possible for a PHEV to travel a long distance before fueling up or recharging.
When it comes to fuel economy, there’s not many PHEVs that are close competition to the 2017 Chevrolet Volt, and then if you take the Volt’s price into account, no other PHEVs stand a chance in competition. Revamped in 2016, the 2017 Chevy Volt’s engine was named to WardsAuto’s list of “Top 10 Best Engines in 2017.”
The Chevrolet Volt is equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a two-motor drive unit and an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. The Volt can travel 53 miles on pure electricity and it has a hybrid fuel efficiency of 106 MPGe and a total driving range of 420 miles with the battery and gas engine.
The 2017 Chevy Volt has a starting MSRP of $33,220 and it is eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit bringing its total cost down to $25,720. You can shop NowCar’s available collection of 2017 Chevy Volt models here.
In the spring of 2016, Chrysler debuted the all-new Chrysler Pacifica and in the later half of the year, they debuted the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the world’s first PHEV minivan. The Pacifica Hybrid is the only option for families that want a vehicle with plug-in technology, but need seating for seven passengers. And, even though the Pacifica Hybrid is the only one, it is also reasonably priced.
Like the Chevrolet Volt’s engine, the engine in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid also made the WardsAuto list of Top 10 Best Engines in 2017. This engine is an upgraded version of Chrysler’s signature 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and it works with dual electric motors and a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. The Pacifica Hybrid has an electric range of 33 miles, hybrid fuel economy of 84 MPGe and a total range of 566 miles, making it the most fuel efficient minivan ever.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $41,995 and it qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, which reduces the vehicle’s cost to $34,495. You can view the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica here.
Unlike PHEVs or EVs, hybrids don’t need to be charged because their battery isn’t large enough to require it and most hybrids have a regenerative braking system that can recharge the small battery. Hybrid vehicles operate mostly with their gas-powered engines, but the small battery and motor does help to increase the vehicle’s fuel economy.
The most saturated segment of vehicles that use a battery is the hybrid sedan segment. Though competition is tough, the 2017 Chevy Malibu has an edge over the two closest competitors -- the Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.
The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid has a fuel economy of 49 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway, which is a little more than the Malibu Hybrid’s highway fuel economy of 43, the Honda Accord Hybrid is priced almost $2,000 more than the Malibu Hybrid. In comparison to the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Chevy Malibu Hybrid hias a significantly better fuel economy of 49 mpg city and 43 mpg highway, than the Camry Hybrid’s fuel economy of 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, so the additional $1,000 for the Malibu Hybrid pays for itself.
You can search and learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu here.