In the world of green cars, performance and economy rule the day, and styling often comes way down on the list of priorities (see Smart Cars for proof). However, the world’s leading automakers have come up with 2014 electric and hybrid cars that deliver exceptional style while hitting all the right notes in efficiency. These five models top the list.
The most exciting electric model by General Motors (NYSE:GM) comes from the Cadillac division. The 2014 ELR features the same powertrain found in the Chevy Volt, yet this Cadillac has additional power and a great deal more style. The total electric range is listed at 35 miles after a full charge. The design on the ELR coupe is a major win for GM, and it could change the way Detroit approaches electric cars in the future.
Infiniti Electric Sedan
The luxury brand of Nissan is also an electric model based on one of the cars from the standard portfolio (in this case, the Nissan Leaf was its forerunner). This electric Infiniti is a four-door sedan that can produce as much as 150 horsepower and simplifies the charging process by reducing the amount of cables required. The electric range is expected to be more than 80 miles, the considerable distance delivered by the Leaf.
BMW is presenting a solid German entry to the field with this 2014 i3 that extends the legacy of both the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE. The i3 is a two-door hatch that has the ultra-modern feel of a MINI with more intensity in the engine and sustainable accents in the car’s interior. Rumors that BMW is following with a hybrid sports car will intrigue enthusiasts, but this electric car coming later in the year will satisfy the needs of most drivers in the electric department.
Ford Focus Electric
Though this model by Ford (NYSE:F) doesn’t stack up to the competition in terms of style, the 2014 Focus should bring more intensity under the hood as well as a longer range (estimates suggest it will go over 75 miles on a full charge). The latest Focus will be a four-door hatch that brings titanium features from the gas-powered Focus. Combined mileage should make the 2014 electric model go over 100 miles to the gallon with a full battery.
The 2014 Auris by Toyota (NYSE:TM) is technically a hybrid, but its 75 mpg and 85 g/km emissions make it notable for several reasons. It also makes the list because of its exceptional design, which gives the Auris an edge over the Focus that it loses in the overall mpg department. Nonetheless, the impressive reduction in carbon emissions makes the Auris a force to be reckoned with, and gives Toyota another serious entry in the field.
Green cars are not supposed to be stylish, but these five cars go a long way toward building up the image that electric cars can impress when sitting in the driveway, as well as cruising down the road.
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