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Having zero tailpipe emissions, not worrying about gas expenses, and forgetting about oil changes all sound wonderful. Those are some of the main reasons the number electric car buyers is rising. But with more and more eco-friendly models popping up on the market, how do you know which ones are truly worth the investment?
Well here are five prime choices that you should definitely consider if you're planning on searching for an electric car in 2015.
The spirited Spark EV is one of the most affordable options on the market if you're looking to get all the benefits of going electric.
In 2014, it was a winner of KBB's 5-Year Cost to Own Award because consumers can get behind the wheel for under $20,000 after receiving tax credits for buying green. And aside from its very attractive price, the Spark EV also offers one of the most entertaining rides of any electric model available. Car and Driver even praised it for its zippy feel.
It's great for urban living because of its responsiveness, practical size, and efficiency. Inside, it provides a stylish, quiet, spacious cabin with tech options like Chevy's MyLink. And Chevy makes getting the most out of the Spark EV's 82-mile range easy. They've included a gauge to help you tailor your driving style for optimal efficiency.
It's powered by a lithium-ion battery that can recharge overnight with the standard 120V charger. However, Chevy also gives owners a $500 discount to put toward a 240V charger that can rejuvenate the battery in just seven hours.
Okay, this electric car is one of the chicest buys both inside and out. Fiat calls the 500e "environmentally sexy," and it does sport an extremely polished fit and finish.
The 500e gives drivers a fun experience with 147 lb-ft of torque immediately available. And it can take you between 80 and 100 miles on one charge. It can charge even faster than the Spark EV, becoming fully energized in less than four hours when connected to a 240V charger.
But pricing starts a little higher, at $32,300. Still not bad for a car that will require little to no maintenance compared to its gasoline-based predecessors. Plus Fiat throws in an interesting perk with your purchase of. Buy a 500e and get 12 days with a free vehicle rental each year for three years, giving you options for long distance travel or transporting cargo. Fiat has really thought of everything.
One of the Soul EV's big advantages is that it comes with standard DC Fast Charging so you can recharge rapidly no matter where you are.
Plus it already has one of the most extended ranges, running for over 90 miles on one charge. Front-and-center gauges keep you informed about your real-time efficiency to help you get the most mileage out of each trip.
Based on Kia's already popular Soul model, the EV version has lots of fun perks to offer. It has a very high-tech cabin, with conveniences like steering-wheel-mounted controls and a large navigation screen, making it a great choice for gadget lovers. Kia also boasts the first UL environmental claim validation in the automotive industry because 19 parts of the Soul EV's interior mass are made from bio-based materials.
It starts as low as $26,200 after federal tax credits, and makes one smart buy, especially for those who need a cabin that's on the larger side.
This is one of the most unusual looking designs when it comes to today's electric cars, but the layout optimizes cabin space and enhances efficiency by leveraging aerodynamics. You can go a total of 62 miles in the i-MiEV before needing to store up some more energy. Its range is a bit lower than some of its cousins, but it's the perfect little car for buzzing around the city.
It can fully charge in seven hours when connected to a 240V supply, and it also comes with a quick-charger port . You can hook that up at public stations to restore your power to 80% in about 30 minutes. The i-MiEV is also one of the least expensive options on the market. After receiving a price cut of over $6K at the end of 2013, models now start at $22,995. That puts them in the mid-teens after government credits.
When you're exploring electric options, this is definitely a model to check out.
The i3 is the ultimate combination of class and responsible living. BMW prides themselves not only on making this model incredibly efficient, but also on using a number of recycled materials in its construction. That's why it was named one of the 10 Best Green Cars by Kelley Blue Book. With a range of 81 miles per charge, it's right in line with its competitors.
And though it might be electric, it delivers 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That makes it capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in a matter of 7 seconds. Not too shabby. Inside, you can enjoy all of the latest technology with access to your favorite apps, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, a premium navigation system, and more.
It comes in a bit higher than the others with a starting price just over $40,000, and throwing in a range extender will bump it up a couple thousand more. Though the price sticker is higher than some of the others, the i3 does come with BMW's signature refinement. And it might be just right for you if you enjoy a little luxury.