Unfortunately, playing catch-up over the holidays kicked an article idea out of my head. Fortunately, an article on GM-Volt kicked it back in. Jeff Cobb of GM-Volt went ahead and published “9 new plug-in cars to look forward to in 2014″ last week. I’m more or less “copying” his list, but I will change things up a little bit and add my own notes. Check out these new plug-in vehicles for sale in 2014, and share with your friends!
[Three notes: 1) the list doesn't include updates of models already for sale, such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc.; 2) links on the subheadings are links to our archives of these vehicles, while links on the names in the descriptions are to the manufacturers' pages for the vehicles; 3) prices are before any tax credits or rebates.]
1. BMW i3
I’ve already expressed my love for the BMW i3 (at length). I know it’s no Tesla, but it’s still a freakin’ nice car, imho. Here are few stats on the BMW i3: 0–60 MPH in around 7 seconds; very tight turning radius (under 11 yards / 10 meters); range of 81–100 miles (130–161 kilometers); a 10 on my smoothness rating. Read my full, insanely detailed review here. (Technically, the i3 already launched in Europe at the end of 2013.)
Price = $41,350
2. BMW i8 (plug-in hybrid)
I’m not sure if we should count this one, since it’s already reportedly sold out, but I guess I’m already including it. The BMW i8 certainly has some good numbers: 357 combined horsepower; 420 lb-ft of torque, 44% from the moment you step on the pedal; 0–60 MPH in 4.5 seconds; estimated combined fuel economy rating of 95 MPG. But the price… fuggedaboudit.
Price = $136,000
I put the BMWs above the Tesla Model X since the Model X isn’t supposed to be delivered until the very end of 2014… and there’s a chance that time could be pushed back. But I think the Model X will actually have more going for it. Likely to have similar numbers to the Tesla Model S and some wicked falcon-wing doors, the Model X is likely to sell well. Elon Musk, who is making $4.3 million on his contributions to Model X development, has said that it is going to be even better than previously announced. That might make up for the fact that its production was pushed back from the end of 2013 to the end of 2014 back in March 2013, something that must have disappointed the hundreds of people who reserved the crossover within just a few days of its reservation availability. Btw, one initial numbers for the Model X was 0–60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. (That’s faster than the BMW i8 for less than half the price.) The Model X will also have all-wheel drive, which the Model S doesn’t have.
Price = $60,000
It’s not yet clear if the Volkswagen e-Up! will come to the US in 2014 — seems unlikely — but the e-Up! is just about to roll out in Europe. You can read my full review of the e-Up! after a couple of test drives in Barcelona here. Overall, I thought it was a nice car. At £19,250 in the UK (about $31,610), it’s obviously a lot more affordable than the cars above, and I think it can compete with the Nissan Leaf (priced at $28,800 in the US), though I would personally buy the Leaf over the e-Up!.
Price = TBA
The Volkswagen e-Golf should be coming to the US market in 2014 (4th quarter). It made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November. Some early numbers for the e-Golf are: “25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 62 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds;” 70–90 average miles of range on a full charge; 115-horsepower electric motor; 199 pound-feet of torque.
Price = TBA
6. Cadillac ELR (plug-in hybrid… er, “extended-range electric vehicle”)
Technically, Santa started delivering the first Cadillac ELRs in December, but we may as well say that the car is brand new in 2014. The Cadillac ELR comes with a hefty price tag, and many have said that it’s unwarranted given that the vehicle doesn’t compare to the less expensive Tesla Model S. But, for Cadillac lovers who want a luxurious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Cadillac ELR looks nice. It has a respectable 35 miles of electric-only range, and, well, it’s a shiny Cadillac.
Price = $75,000
7. Kia Soul EV
Reportedly 120+ miles per charge and just $35,000, this could be a real EV competitor. We’ll see what the final numbers turn out to be. Some reports are that the Kia Soul EV will hit the US market in 2014, while others are that it won’t hit the market until 2015, but deliveries in its home country of Korea are definitely scheduled for this year. And don’t expect that deliveries to other countries will take too long — Kia has an aim of making this the “the first electric vehicle for the global market.” I’m just hoping not too many people buy a hot pink one.
Price = TBA (perhaps ~$35,000)
This beauty from Mercedes will come with a range of 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge. That’s a lot more than the average EV. It goes from 0 to 62 MPH (0 to 100 km/h) in a respectable 7.9 seconds. The car is supposed to hit the German market at the end of 2014. No word yet on when it will hit the US market; though, it was brought to the New York Auto Show in 2013.
Price = TBA
The the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid actually replaces the the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. It is supposed to have an all-electric range of about 22 miles, not too bad for a PHEV. The car is supposed to have an estimated fuel economy rating of ~53 MPG, despite a combined output of 416 horsepower, 435 ft-lbs of torque, and a 0–60 of 5.2 seconds. And it’s pretty….
Over the Porsche’s lifetime, the company intends to sell ~10,000 vehicles.
Price = $99,000
10, 11, 12. Via Motors VTRUX Truck, Van, & SUV (plug-in hybrids… er, “extended-range electric vehicles”)
With a manufacturing plant opening up in Mexico last year, and early deliveries to some fleet customers, the Via Motors VTRUX vehicles are technically already here, but it is looking to have a much bigger year in 2014 as it becomes available to more customers. And if you think the “Chevy Volt of trucks” and its van sister don’t have enough demand, think again. Via Motors recently won a $20 million contract to deliver 50 of these plug-in trucks and vans to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Expect plenty more of that in 2014.
Prices (“in volume”) for truck = $79,000
13. Nissan e-NV200 (because they couldn’t come up with a less catchy name)
With trials going on in the UK, Barcelona (where it is also being manufactured), New York City, and Japan, this van is just getting going, but assuming no surprises in the trial programs, I think we’ll see a lot more of the e-NV200 being sold & delivered in 2014. It will definitely be sold in Japan in 2014, Nissan has announced. We’ll see about elsewhere.
Price = TBA
2014 is looking to be a big year for high-priced electric vehicles, a depart from last year. It’s hard to pick one vehicle that I think will have the biggest impact, but I think the Model X, VTRUX lineup, BMW i3, and Kia Soul EV have the most potential to shake things up and make a big difference.
Also recommended: 11 Electric Cars That Cost Less Than The Average New Car In The US