With gas prices going up and not seeming to every come down at all the introduction and increased improvements in technology have helped to make electric cars the next great wave in vehicles. Because of this, there are several new offerings from manufacturers for 2015 that will help to keep gas in the tank and use electricity as the main power source for these great vehicles.
A gorgeous, exotic looking sports coupe with scissors doors the i8 is powered by a 120 horsepower electric motor up front with a two-speed automatic transmission. This power plant is backed up by a smaller electric motor in the back and both are assisted by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that comes in with 228 horsepower. As a complete combination the horsepower comes in at 357 combined to give plenty of power to enjoy the ride. As an agile ad responsive driving vehicle the i8 has serious sports car performance and handling the i8 is priced to move for serious buyers at $135,000.
This is a plug-in hybrid that is built for economical cruising. As a very nice coupe or sedan, the X5 will offer 95 horsepower from its electric motor and 240 horsepower from the four-cylinder twin-turbo gas engine. With refined tooling and easy to enjoy handling, the X5 will offer as much as 40 mpg to keep the gas tank full and money in the pocket.
Audi A3 e-tron
Many electric hybrids loose some cargo space when the electric engine is put in place, but the e-tron keeps its electric motor under the rear seats to keep the cargo space in-tact. As a really performance happy hatchback, the e-tron offers a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has 150 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. When the electric motor adds to the mix the horsepower is increased to 204 and the six-speed dual-clutch transmission helps to add mpg in a big way. The electric motor takes less than 2.5 hours to charge when using a 240 volt outlet. The electric-only range is only 31 miles but the fuel efficiency is so great it can reach as much as 584 miles on a single tank of gas. The price is expected to start around $51,000 but might be as low as $40,000.
Kia Soul EV
Showing up in late fall, the Kia Soul EV will offer a range that comes very close to 100 miles on a single charge. Recharge time is twelve hours on 110 volt outlet and only five hours from a 240 volt. A fast charging system can reduce this time to as little as 24 minutes when used. The power numbers come in at 109 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque. Coming in with a very nice cargo carrying ability as well as additional soundproofing the expected starting price could come in as low as $30,000.
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid
Expected to show up as an Optima sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, the plug-in version is expected to blow away the plug in world. Because the release is still so far in the future no numbers for power or performance are available just yet.
Anyone who is a fan of plug-in cars, or wants to have the ability to save a lot of money on their fuel costs have a great deal to look forward to with these great cars getting ready to debut over the next couple years. Looking forward to the release of each one to see what they will have to offer and that ability to compare with gas-only powered siblings will only help to have many people choosing these great plug-in vehicles over other cars.