10. Tesla Model S AWD (103 mpg)
On April 8, 2015, Tesla introduced the Model S 70D as its new US$75,000 entry-level car, with all-wheel drive and an improved range of 240 miles (385 km). The 70D replaced the 60 and 60D in the Model S lineup, with the latter two models no longer being available for purchase. The P85 option was also dropped.
In the 85D, the rear drive unit is replaced by a smaller one to save cost and weight, while a second motor of similar size is added to the front wheels. This results in an AWD car with comparable power and acceleration to the RWD version while keeping the price increase to US$5,000. Additionally, the 85D reports a 2% (5-mile) range increase and 11% increase in top speed over the 85(presumably due to incremental improvements in hardware and software). In the P85D, the high-power rear drive unit is retained, while a new front drive motor boosts the total power by about 50%. This results in a significant increase in acceleration and top speed. The 85 kWh version rose from US$81,070 to US$86,070, while the P85 (now the P85D) jumped from US$94,570 to US$105,670. Deliveries of the P85D started in December 2014, with the 85D models starting in February 2015, and the 70D models starting in April 2015.
On June 9, 2016, Tesla reintroduced the 60 and 60D, which has a 75 kWh battery, locked out to 60 kWh but upgradable by software, as is the Autopilot option. The spring refresh of 2016 also offers the “Bioweapon Defense Mode” airfilter first offered on the Model X.
9. Kia Soul EV (105 mpg)
Deliveries began in South Korea in May 2014. European sales began in July 2014. Sales started in the U.S. in October 2014; initially it was sold only in California, Oregon, and several Eastern states, with the largest EV markets and infrastructure including New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Global sales exceeded the 10,000 unit milestone in January 2016, with Europe as the leading market with 6,770 units sold. Germany is the leading European market with 3,853 units sold through December 2015.
The Soul EV is powered by a 27 kWh usable capacity (30.5 kWh size) lithium-ion polymer battery pack and CHAdeMO fast charging capability of 100 kW DC. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official range for the 2015 model year Soul EV is 93 mi (150 km) and the EPA rated its combined fuel economy at 105 miles per US gallon gasoline equivalent(2.2 L/100 km equivalent). As of September 2014, the Soul EV has the largest EPA-rated all-electric range in city driving of its class, with 104 mi (167 km). The motor is rated at 81.4 kW (109 bhp) and torque 285 Nm (210 lb.-ft).
8. Smart ForTwo (107 mpg)
The Smart Fortwo is a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-seater hatchback city car manufactured and marketed by the Smart division of Daimler AG, introduced in 1998, now in its third generation. Marketed in 46 countries worldwide, Fortwo production had surpassed 1.7 million units by early 2015.
The Fortwo is noted for its 2.69 meter overall length, high H-point seating, offset passenger and driver seats (in the first and second generation, the passenger seat is 15 centimetres further rearward than the driver’s), automated manual transmission (1st and 2nd generation), De Dion tube rear suspension, low CO2 emissions (119 grams per kilometre, North America, 1.0 Liter), two-part rear hatch, interchangeable plastic body panels and prominent steel hemispherical safety-cell, which is marketed as the Tridion cell and is often provided in a contrasting color to the vehicle’s body panels.
The brand name Smart derives from its early history as a cooperative venture between Swatch and Mercedes: Swatch Mercedes ART. The Fortwo nameplate derives from its two-person seating capacity. Until 2004, the Fortwo had been marketed as the smart City-Coupé.
7. Nissan Leaf (112 mpg)
The Nissan Leaf (also formatted “LEAF” as a backronym for leading environmentally-friendly affordable family car) is a compact five-door hatchback electric car manufactured by Nissanand introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010, followed by various European countries and Canada in 2011. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official range for the 2016 model year Leaf with the 30 kWh battery is 172 km (107 miles) on a full battery charge, while the trim with the smaller 24 kWh battery is 135 km (84 miles), the same as the 2014/15 model year. Leaf battery packs can be charged from fully discharged to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes using DC fast charging.
As of April 2016, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s all-time best selling highway-capable all-electric car. Almost 220,000 Leafs have been sold worldwide by mid-April 2016. The top markets for Leaf sales, as of April 2016, are the United States with over 93,000 units sold, followed by Japan with almost 65,000 units, and Europe with over 55,000 Leafs through March 2016. The European market is led by Norway with over 17,000 new units registered through the end of April 2016, and the U.K. with over 12,000 units registered by the end of 2015.
6. Mitsubishi i-MiEV (112 mpg)
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (MiEV is an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) is a five-door hatchback electric car produced by Mitsubishi Motors, and is the electric version of theMitsubishi i. Rebadged variants of the i-MiEV are also sold in Europe by PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) as the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero. The i-MiEV is the world’s first modern highway-capable mass production electric car.
The i-MiEV was launched for fleet customers in Japan in July 2009, and on April 1, 2010, for the wider public. International sales to Asia, Australia and Europe started in 2010, with further markers in 2011 including Central and South America. Fleet and retail customer deliveries in the U.S. and Canada began in December 2011. The American-only version, called “i”, is larger than the Japanese version and has several additional features.
According to the manufacturer, the i-MiEV all-electric range is 160 kilometres (100 mi) on the Japanese test cycle. The range for the 2012 model year American version is 62 miles (100 km) on the United States Environmental Protection Agency‘s (US EPA) cycle. In November 2011 the Mitsubishi i ranked first in EPA’s 2012 Annual Fuel Economy Guide, and became the most fuel efficient EPA certified vehicle in the U.S. for all fuels ever, until it was surpassed by the Honda Fit EV in June 2012 and the BMW i3, Chevrolet Spark, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Fiat 500e in succeeding years.
5. Fiat 500e (116 mpg)
The 500e is powered by a 111 hp (83 kW) and 147 lb·ft (199 N·m) permanent-magnet, three-phase synchronous drive electric motor, and its 24 kWh liquid-cooled/heated li-ion battery delivers a range of 80 mi (130 km), and up to 100 mi (160 km) in city driving according to Chrysler. The official U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range is 87 mi (140 km). Charge time is less than four hours with the Level 2 (240 volt) on-board charging module. Under its five-cycle testing, the EPA rated the 500e combined fuel economy at 116 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) (2.0 L/100 km equivalent), 122 MPGe (1.9 L/100 km equivalent) in city driving and 108 MPGe (2.4 L/100 km equivalent) on the highway.
4. Voltswagen e-Golf (116 mpg)
The production version of the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. According to VW the e-Golf has a practical all-electric range of 130 to 190 km (81 to 118 mi), with an official NEDC cycle of 190 km (120 mi), and the winter range is expected to be 80 to 120 km (50 to 75 mi). The 2015 e-Golf has an official EPA rated all-electric range of 134 km (83 mi), and a combined fuel economy of 116 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) for an energy consumption of 29 kW-hrs/100 mi. The EPA rating for city driving is 126 MPGe and 105 MPGe in highway. Production of vehicles destined for retail customers began in March 2014.
3. Chevrolet Spark EV(119 mpg)
In October 2011, General Motors announced the production of the Chevrolet Spark EV, an all-electric version of the third generation Chevrolet Spark, with availability limited to select U.S. and global markets. In October 2012, GM Korea announced it will start making and selling the Spark EV domestically in 2013. The production version was unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. Within the framework of GM’s vehicle electrification strategy, the Spark EV is the first all-electric passenger car marketed by General Motors in the U.S. since the EV1 was discontinued in 1999. The Spark EV was released in the U.S. in selected markets in California and Oregon in June 2013. Retail sales began in South Korea in October 2013. The electric car has gone on sale in Maryland in the second quarter of 2015, the first East Coast state where the Spark EV is available. GM also plans to sell the Spark EV in limited quantities in Canada and select European markets. It is available in Canada for fleet sales.As of December 2014, U.S. sales totaled 1,684 units.
The electric car is powered by a nanophosphate lithium-ion battery pack supplied by A123 Systems, and an electric motor with specs originally given as a peak power of 85 kW (114 hp) and sustained power of 56 kW (75 hp). The production version features an 130 hp (97 kW) motor, providing 400 lb-ft of torque, powered by a 21.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The Spark EV can be fast-charged to 80% of capacity in 20 minutes using an optional connector, and charging time increases to about seven hours using a dedicated 240-volt charging station or about 17 hours using a standard household 120-volt outlet.
2. BMW i3 (124 mpg)
The BMW i3 is a five-door urban electric car developed by the German manufacturer BMW. The i3 is part of BMW’s “Project i” and was launched as a new brand, BMW i. The i3 is BMW’s first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle due to its electric powertrain, and BMW is the first company to launch a volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer to improve the vehicle’s energy consumption. As of May 2016, the BMW i3 is the most fuel efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all years regardless of fuel type, and the i3 REx is the most efficient EPA-certified current year vehicle with a gasoline engine.
The BMW i3’s official range is 130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and up to 200 km (120 mi) in the most efficient driving mode. Under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cycle the official range is 130 km (81 mi) with combined fuel economy of 124 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent —MPGe— (1.90 L/100 km; 149 mpg imp). BMW is offering a range extender (“REx”) option powered by a 647 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine with a small fuel tank that engages when the battery level drops to a pre-specified point, acting purely as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range to between 260 to 290 km (160 to 180 mi) in everyday driving conditions. Under EPA testing cycle, the i3 REx total range is 240 km (150 mi).
1. Voltswagen XL 1 (240 mpg)
The Volkswagen XL1 (VW 1-Litre) is a two-person limited production diesel-powered plug-in hybrid produced by Volkswagen. The XL1 car was designed to be able to travel 100 km on 1 litre of diesel fuel (280 mpg-imp; 240 mpg-US), while being both roadworthy and practical. To achieve such economy, it is produced with lightweight materials, a streamlined body and an engine and transmission designed and tuned for economy. The concept car was modified first in 2009 as the L1 and again in 2011 as the XL1.
A limited production of 250 units began by mid 2013 and pricing starts at €111,000 (~ US$146,000). The Volkswagen XL1 plug-in diesel-electric hybrid is available only in Europe and its 5.5kWh lithium-ion battery delivers an all-electric range of 50 km (31 mi), has a fuel economy of 0.9 l/100 km (260 mpg-US; 310 mpg-imp) under the NEDC cycle and produces emissions of 21 g/km of CO2. The XL1 was released to retail customers in Germany in June 2014.