Electric Car Directory

Porsche Spyder 918 Review

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Porsche felt compelled to see how far they could take the new paradigm of automotive powertrains. The three propulsion unit configuration of the 918 Spyder – 127 hp front electric motor electronically coupled to a 154 hp rear electric motor which is connected through a 7 gear transmission to a 608 hp aluminum-block V8 direct-injection internal combustion engine for a total of 887 hp represented the pinnacle of that engineering exercise.

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BMW i8

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

A glance at BMWs i8 is enough to know that this is a supercar with enormous promise. This is one of the very few high-performance vehicles which can be driven without eco-guilt. When not being flogged to deliver its 4.8 second 0-60 sprint or spurred to its 160 mph electronically-limited top speed, the car is capable of delivering 80 mpg and has a carbon dioxide emission rating of 99 grams per kilometer.

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Tesla Model S

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Designed from the ground up as a pure battery electric car, the Tesla Model S sedan is one of the most revolutionary vehicles on the market, with both owner reports and editorial reports delivering glowing praise of the car's fit, finish and performance. The energy-frugal Tesla Model S doesn't sacrifice performance; its maximum horsepower is an impressive 416 with an super-car level 443 pound-per-feet of torque. The Tesla Model S has the capability to go zero to 60 in just 4.0 seconds.

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Just when you were lamenting the demise of Fisker's low slung, sexy sports sedan plug-in hybrid, Porsche jumps into the breach with the updated Panamera S E-Hybrid. With a nearly identical price, similar sporty styling and new electric-only driving capability, the new S will appeal to the family guy not ready to give up sports car performance while retaining some ecological self-respect. The car's toughest competition will of course come from Tesla, whose Model S Performance edition will edge the Panamera S E-Hybrid in both acceleration and expense.

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Cadillac ELR

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Based on the EV technology GM calls Voltec, but dressed up in a brand new suit, the 2014 Cadillac ELR coupe brings anther ecological driving option to the luxury market. As a two door plug-in hybrid, the ELR may not be a direct competitor with the four door all-electric Tesla Model S, but its expected $60,000-plus price point will place it at the deep end of the pool with the Tesla and the Fisker sedans.

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BMW i3

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

BMW's commitment to environmentally responsible luxury performance vehicles is amply evident not only by its $561 million investment in it's Leipzig plant where the new i3 will be produced and the new $100 million carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake Washington, but in attention to the smallest of details such as the responsibly sourced eucalyptus wood used in the dashboard.

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Volkswagen e-Golf

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Originally intended to replace the iconic Beetle in 1974, the hatchback Volkswagen Golf has been a familiar sight on US roads for forty years. Now in its seventh generation and sporting five doors, a substantially more refined Golf has become the platform for VW’s first US electric vehicle; the e-Golf.

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Mercedes Benz B Class ED

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

The first battery electric production car from Mercedes for a North American audience seems to be positioned to compete with BMW's upcoming i3; an upscale four door hatchback that emphasizes comfort and safety with a premium brand. The car features a 134 hp motor capable of 228 pound-feet of torque. The B-Class ED appears to up the ante on range vs the Ford Focus EV and Nissan Leaf. Mercedes estimates range at 115 miles, although real-world driving will probably be less.

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Chevrolet Volt

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

GM created a great deal of excitement in the EV enthusiast community with the unveiling of the production Volt in 2008. GM's approach to an electric car, series hybrid, in which the main propulsion is from the electric motor with the gas engine turning a generator that charges the batteries, offered “true electric” alternative to the mild hybrids then available. GM had the deep technical bench to offer a well engineered solution that provided the performance American drivers demand yet true green cred. Their solution, which allows the gas engine to provide direct drive to the wheels when needed, is the most sophisticated approach on the market. Under most driving scenarios, on trips under 40 miles, the gas engine is not used at all, providing all-electric driving ecology and economy.

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Ford Fusion Energi

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

The Fusion Energi is Ford's bid to stay competitive against other mid-class hybrid electric sedans. The plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi can travel up to 21 miles in electric-only mode, about 60% more than the Honda Accord Plug-in. Using its permanent magnet, AC synchronous motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery it can achieve an electric-only top speed of up to 85 mph. An EV mode button switches the drivetrain to all-electric mode when enough battery charge is available. For longer trips, the Energi uses a 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine capable of 141 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid drive system is capable of a total 188 hp output. EPA ratings are 108 MPGe for city driving, 92 MPGe highway.

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Ford C-Max Energi

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Ford squares off against the Plug-in Prius with its C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid that delivers 21 miles of all-electric range, about double that of the Prius. At 100 MPGe, it outreaches the Prius by 5%. In addition to a longer stride, the C-Max Energi delivers 14% greater horsepower from the electric motor and an additional 43 ponies from the 2.0L I-4 HEV, a +44% margin. The drive system will deliver a combined total of 188 bhp, a surprising amount of power for what is ostensibly an economy compact but feels and drives more like a crossover.

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Ford Focus Electric

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

People who find the Nissan Leaf's avant-garde styling unappealing may find the Focus EV's more conventional styling a better fit. The car does not flaunt its ecological cred with distinct design, just a quieter presence as it rolls by. Styling differences aside, the primary technical differences between the Focus EV and its closest competition is that Ford opted for a liquid cooled and heated battery pack, which allows the car to be operated in more extreme temperature ranges without degrading the battery life. A 6.6 kW on-board charger provides a four hour charge time, about half that of vehicles with 3.3 kW chargers. For people who drive more than 70 miles in a day, or want to charge within the 12 am - 5 am super-off-peak utility rate, it's a significant advantage.

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Nissan Leaf

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

When the Nissan Leaf was first released in December 2010 it was the first mass-market all-electric car available the U.S. since the EV1 ceased production in 1999. Nissan has sold 42,700 units worldwide through October 2012, making the Leaf the world's top-selling electric car. Nissan’s decision to develop an all-electric rather than a hybrid is notable for two reasons. Other companies’ strategies assume that a hybrid with internal combustion engine will be cheaper to produce than a car with a battery of sufficient capacity. Hybrids also address the reluctance of consumers to purchase a car whose travel range must be punctuated by long recharge intervals.

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Fiat 500e

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

The 2013 Fiat 500e is a welcome addition to the range of small, energy-efficient EVs that have good performance - in this case a 0-60 time of 9 seconds, about 22% better than the Smart ED. But the best performance of the iconic Italian classic might be in its price – only $21,800 after incentives which is about the same as its gas powered counterpart. The lease deal is equally attractive: $999 down, $199 per month. The $2,500 California clean air rebate is available on the 36 month lease, making this a free car for the first seven months, and likely thereafter considering fuel cost savings. As if that wasn't enough, Fiat tosses in 12 days of free car rental for those occasions when you need to travel further than the 500e's 87 mile range without making four hour pit stops.

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Chevrolet Spark EV

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

The Chevrolet Spark EV, GM's entry into the rapidly expanding all-electric fray, is the smallest car Chevy has ever sold in the US, although it is larger than the Smart and Scion iQ. The diminutive four door four seat urban runabout is fun to drive and easy to park in tight spaces. At a base of $16,685 assuming Federal and California credits, the Spark is now the least expensive EV to purchase. Lease rates of $199 with $999 down make this one of the cheapest freeway-capable transportation options available.

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2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Posted 04.28.2016 in Cars by Editor

Mitsubishi promises to deliver Europe's best selling EV to the U.S. in June 2016. The retuned 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will hit these shores with sophisticated new styling as well as featuring a more powerful hybrid drivetrain. The 5-passenger crossover SUV will be an attention grabber with its new front facia with dramatically redesigned bumper.

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Smart ForTwo ED

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

The 2013 Smart ForTwo ED is a significant upgrade over the previous models. The first upgrade is its improved battery, which now has an average life span of 10 years. The ForTwo ED also received a massive power upgrade. This 3rd generation EV has a constant cruising output of 47 hp and a maximum output of 74 hp. The ForTwo ED's acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is now a respectable 11 seconds, less than half that of its predecessor. Top speed is now 75 mph, which make freeway driving much more practical the the 65 mph limit of the previous edition.

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Tesla Roadster

Posted 01.18.2016 in Cars by Editor

Aside from sexy styling provided by the Lotus-supplied carbon-fiber body, field-leading acceleration (0-60 in 3.7 seconds) and 245 mile range, the Tesla Roadster is most notable for kick-starting the EV resurgence. By giving the lie to any outdated preconceptions anyone ever had about EVs, Tesla ignited the EV revolution that now counts 33 highway capable passenger vehicles in production for US markets. Prior to the Tesla Roadster, there were zero. This achievement alone is enough to earn Tesla a spot atop the roster in whatever EV Hall of Fame that comes to pass. But it is likely the Roadster will have a very active secondary market for the few owners that wish to part with one of the most coveted cars of the 21st century.

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