More than 150 years ago the first electric car was created and gradually became popular cars out in the world. However, this all changed with advancements in internal combustion engine vehicles and the cheapness of oil. It wasn’t until the 1990s that electric and hybrid cars returned to mainstream society, but it was a minority that actually embraced the reemergence of the electric and hybrid car.
But society has changed and gradually people are moving to electric and hybrid cars to save on gas. The popular Toyota Prius has sold more than one million cars globally and all the major car companies are working on new and innovative hybrid and electric vehicles.
Still, there is a stigmatism when it comes to hybrid and electric cars. A USA Today/Gallup poll found 60 percent of Americans wouldn’t by an electric car because they do not have the same range as a traditional car powered by an internal combustion engine. Essentially, we are a society that likes to drive fast and electric cars cannot provide this. Or can they?
Here are 10 cars that are changing the way we look at hybrid and electric cars.
10) Cadillac ELR Coupe
Recently, Cadillac moved more into the electric car business. The ELR Coupe, while technically an electric car, acts more like a hybrid in that it gets 35 miles when the battery is charged and then gasoline powers a generator to recharge the car’s battery. It’s a step in the right direction for Cadillac and the design moves away from the boxier models of Cadillac.
9) Dodge Circuit EV
Although technically a development vehicle, the Dodge Circuit EV is a two-passenger, all-electric sports car. It’s based off the Lotus Europa S and has a 200-kilowatt electric motor. Originally, Dodge promised to bring the EV to the U.S. in 2010, but cancelled the project before doing so. Hopefully, Dodge revisits the car and makes future product plans.
8) Lexus CT 200h
A more affordable hybrid car, the Lexus CT 200h costs around $30,000 and gets 42 mpg, the most of any luxury vehicle. The car is pretty fun to drive as I’ve actually had the honor to do so. It’s a bit tricky to start, as there is no key to turn on the CT. It handles smoothly, but only has a top speed of 113 mph. The CT is a good step up from boring cars like the Prius and Volt.
7) Audi e-tron
Audi’s move into hybrid vehicles is with its e-tron. The e-tron produces 313 horsepower and has a range of 154 miles. The car looks similar to an A7 and at this time does not have a release date. Unfortunately, Audi chose a terrible name for their car as etron also means turd in French.
6) Lightning GT
The Lightning Car Company is Britain’s answer to Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive. It’s Lightning GT can reach more than 130 mph and was first unveiled at the London Auto Show in 1999. Since then, it has gone through a major transformation that gives the car a range of 250 miles on a single charge and is suppose to take only 10 minutes to recharge the car. The price is expected to be around $300,000.
5) Fisker Karma
Coming to the market to challenge Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive will bring its Fisker Karma to consumers in 2012. The luxury electric car features wood from reclaimed wood, meaning they did not chop a down a tree, and a solar roof to help power the car. The basic model will go for $95,500 with the top model priced at $109,850.
4) BMW i8
BMW has been in the electric and hybrid car business for a while, but its latest efforts in the space have been magnificent. Similar to the Fisker Karma, BMW’s i8 is a high-end electric hybrid sports car. The car looks like it came from the movie Tron and gets 94 miles per gallon. It can also go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in less than 5 seconds.
3) Tesla Model S
Tesla Motors is the original luxury electric car company. It’s first car, the Tesla Roadster, sold out quickly due to its high speed and sleek design. Still, the more than $100,000 price tag limited who could afford one. Tesla’s newest car, the Model S, is set to launch in 2012 and has a price of $75,000. Not cheap, but the car is gorgeous, gets 300 miles per charge and can hit 60 miles per hour (mph) in 5.6 seconds.
2) Porsche 918 Spyder
Starting in 2013, Porsche will roll out the world’s first hybrid supercar, the Porsche 918 Spyder. It will be Porsche’s most expensive car ever with a base price of $845,000. The Spyder can hit 199 mph and go from 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. In total, Porsche will make 918 Spyders.
1) Mercedes F125
The Mercedes F125 is a combination hydrogen fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid electric car. The car is made of ultralight materials such as carbon fiber and each wheel has its own electric motor on board. The F125 can run 620 miles on its fuel cells, but it can be recharged when you park it. Top speed is 137 mph and at this time there is no date to when it will be released.