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USA: Best Electric Cars: A roundup of EVs out now and coming soon

With electric cars slowly becoming more commonplace on the roads, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a comprehensive roundup of all the best electric cars that are available now or rolling out soon.

They say change is good, and we agree, but it isn’t always easy to do. While the warm winds of change– or cold winds, depending on your point of view – are upon us, we still have a long ways to go before electric cars and vehicles (EVs) begin to make up a sizeable market share around the world — but it is happening. If you’re excited about electric cars and alternative fuel technology, then no doubt this a good thing. If not, well, you don’t really need to worry because gasoline-powered cars aren’t going anywhere soon.
It’s an exciting time for auto enthusiasts, which is why we have rounded up all the electric cars currently on the market or coming out this year — including both plug-in hybrids and all-electrics — to help you suss-out which one might be best for you. We’ve also taken the liberty of providing (when we can) where these EVs will initially be available, when they’re coming out, and how much these green-wheelin’ wonders are likely to set you back.
Plug-in hybrid electric cars

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Toyota’s Prius Plug-in hybrid is based on Toyota’s third-generation body design and is in many ways similar to the standard Prius liftback you’ve already seen chugging along your local roads. The EPA rates the plug-in Prius’ all-electric range at 11 miles. Its ‘blended’ overall range — or the combined range of its electric motor and 1.8-liter gasoline 4-cylinder engine — will allow you to travel a total of 540 miles driven before needing to top off. That translates roughly to 51 city/49 highway/50 combined mpg estimates. Because the plug-in Prius utilizes a relatively small 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, recharge times are substantially shorter, with the Prius plug-in needing roughly three hours at 120 volts or one and half hours at 240 volts.
Pricing for the Prius plug-in hybrid begins at $32,750 including destination charges and is currently available in fourteen states: California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia, with a full national rollout planned for 2013.
Chevrolet Volt

It’s no secret that the Chevrolet Volt has had its fair share of issues: from a NHTSA safety inquiry, to almost endless scrutiny from the pontificating politicos, the Volt has had to juggle an ongoing barrage of criticism from the media, while at the same time enjoying a healthy amount of plaudits from within the industry. One thing the Volt has begrudgingly been unable to shake, though, is its princely price; a cool $40,000 to be exact. But if you can get beyond the cash you’ll need to splash in order to drive the Volt home, you’re in for a treat.
The Volt, like the Prius plug-in, is an extended-range plug-in hybrid. It features both a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine as well as a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers its electric motor, which is capable of producing roughly 149-hp and 273-lb-ft of torque. The Volt’s all-electric range comes in around 35 miles in total, while its overall range will fetch around 379 miles. Like all the cars on this list it’s important to remember that mileage will vary depending on how you drive. The Chevrolet Volt is available to purchase nationwide, with GM offering various leasing options for qualified customers.



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