The Top 5 Plug-in Cars To Buy This Year

The Top 5 Plug-in Cars To Buy This Year

It’s a New Year and the Hardware Is Looking Great

Contributed by Sam Wright

Are you worried about the size of your carbon footprint? Here are the Top 5 plug-in cars that you can buy this year.

BMW i8

The BMW i8 is not the kind of car that is affordable for most people. It’s a pretty expensive car, in fact. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an amazing car for anyone who can afford to buy

2015,BMW,i8

It looks like it can fly

one. It has a 22-mile electric-only range, but you wouldn’t think it was an electric car to look at it. It looks like the most stylish and impressive BMW car you’ve ever seen. With a slick, streamlined body, and an ability to go from 0 to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds, the i8 is a very impressive vehicle.

Audi A3 e-tron

Of all the plug-in hybrids on the market today, this one is certainly among the most convincing. And being convincing is a big deal when you’re trying to convince people to switch from an ordinary fuel-burning car to a plug-in hybrid. It’s a car that looks like a classic family hatchback that offers assurance and reliability. They are clearly trying to target drivers with families. And the fact that the car is full of all the latest technology will help sales as well. That it’s a plug-in hybrid is just an extra positive.

Toyota Prius Plug-in

The Prius has been associated with low emissions driving for quite some time. But each time Toyota brings out a new version of the car, they continue to show that they can improve on the formula. If you’re in England, visit Inchcape Toyota to find out how much it cost to buy one. Toyota should have a new version of their plug-in model out this year.

Volkswagen e-Golf

2015 Volkswagen,VW,e-Golf,electric car

The e-Golf will get you there

The Volkswagen e-Golf is not a great deal different from the Audi A3 e-tron. They offer a lot of the same things since they’re based on the same platform. But the e-Golf is a pure electric while the e-tron also carries a internal combustion engine. The VW is a slightly cheaper solution to your plug-in needs. If you want to get to where you need to go in an efficient way, give it a try.

Mercedes-Benz C350e

Mercedes-Benz is continuing to push out the new hybrid technology. The very best and latest one they have produced is the Mercedes-Benz C350e. The car looks great, and it drives even better. In fact, many people have said that the hybrid engine makes the classic Mercedes driving experience even better than it was before. You get a smooth ride, and you can keep your running costs low at the same time. What more could a driver want from their car?

It’s looks like it’s going to be a great year to plug in and drive off.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

First Drive: 2015 BMW i8

Road Test: 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in

Road Test: 2014 Volkswagen e-Golf

 

Top 10 States Offering Incentives for Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Top 10 States Offering Incentives for Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Help To Buy Your Electric Dream Car

In 2013, governors from seven states (California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing to the successful implementation of Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) programs. Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)——as well as hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), are examples of ZEVs being promoted. States that are a part of this program will be required increase the sale of ZEVs in their state to 15 percent of all vehicles sales by 2025. That translates into many wonderful incentives for current and future owners of ZEVs. Here are some of the best electric car incentives offered in these seven and other states, in ascending order.

  1. Nevada

Along with the HOV lane exemptions offered in many other states, Nevada’s Department of Transportation offers discounted rates for home electricity bills applying to individuals who charge

honda,clarity,3rd generation,fuel cell

States are looking to help put more fuel cell cars on the road

their plug-in hybrid vehicles off-peak hours. Hybrid electric vehicles and other AFVs are exempt from state emission tests for the first five years from registration. Also, all AFVs are allowed to park in any metered parking lot without having to account for a fee.

  1. Arizona

Alternative fuel vehicles like EVs and hydrogen vehicles are exempt from emissions testing and also qualify for a lower tax rate. You must obtain an alternative fuel special plate, but there is no fee. Having this plate also allows alternative fueled vehicles in Arizona to drive in the HOV lane even if only the driver is in the vehicle. Also, a tax credit maximum of $75 is available to install EV charging outlets.

  1. New York

In the heart of traffic central, it pays to get a free pass to get on the HOV lane when you are driving solo. Long Island commuters who own low or zero-emission vehicles get just that when traveling on the 40-mile stretch of the Long Island Expressway. Additionally, the Clean Pass Program reduces alternative fuel vehicles’ toll rates on Port Authority crossing during non-peak hours. Motor vehicle emissions testing are no longer required for any electric cars. Like in Nevada, reduced electricity rates are offered for residents charging their PEVs during off-peak hours and New Yorkers with PEVs can bypass emissions testing for registration renewals.

  1. Massachusetts

Targeted mostly for public and private fleets, the state of Massachusetts offers grant funding for fleets opting for alternative fuel vehicles as well as up to $2,500 in a rebate for individuals and organizations purchasing plug-in hybrid vehicles. The project is run by Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. All electric vehicles are completely exempted from state motor vehicle emissions inspections.

  1. Washington

Who doesn’t like a tax break? Washington State offers tax exemptions for the purchase or lease of a clean alternative fuel vehicle or plug-in hybrid for $35,000 or less. Charging stations purchased for business or homes are also exempt from the state sales tax. Additionally, electric, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas vehicles and HEVs are exempt from emissions inspections.

  1. Maryland

Until June 30th, 2017, the state of Maryland is offering a tax credit equal to the number of kilowatt-hours of battery capacity of an electric vehicle, multiplied by $125. The tax credit value rises up

Getting ready to move on its own

Incentives have helped boost Tesla sales

to $3,000 per vehicle. Alternative fuel vehicles are also exempted from the HOV lane passenger restrictions and emissions testing requirements.

  1. Connecticut

Connecticut keeps an impressive number of incentives on PEV adoption in the transportation system. Up to $3,000 is offered through the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program (CHEAPR) for any hydrogen-based, all electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Commercial fleet operators qualify for up to two vehicle rebates. The cherry on top is that all electric vehicles are completely exempt from motor vehicle emissions testing and alternative fuel and all-electric cars benefit from free parking on all city streets!

  1. Georgia

When purchasing a dedicated alternative fuel vehicle or converting a motor vehicle to run only on alternative fuels, the state of Georgia offers an income tax credit of 10 percent of the vehicle cost, up to $2,500. An income tax credit of 20 percent or up to $5,000 was offered to individuals who purchased or leased a new zero emission vehicle before July 1st, 2015. Qualified electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are also exempt from the minimum passenger number rule for running on the HOV lane.

  1. Colorado

Colorado DoT is mighty generous to their plug-in electric vehicle and alternative fuel vehicle owners. PEVs qualify for up to $7,500 via an income tax credit and alternative fuel vehicles—motor vehicles converted to use an alternative fuel or those that have replaced a vehicle’s power source with an alternative fuel power source—qualify for an income tax credit of up to $6,000. Adoption of PEVs into private fleets is supported by the state through grants of 80 percent of the incremental cost of a vehicle (up to $8,260). Additionally, certain models of hybrid vehicles qualify for a permit and transponder that allows the use of HOV lanes even with single occupants.

  1. California

California tops the list because several states, including many on this list, base their qualifications for green vehicle incentives from California’s Air Resources Board (ARB). They basically set the

2014, VW, Volkswagen, e-Golf

If it’s got a plug, there may be an incentive waiting for you

standard for other states to follow. In cities and counties across the Golden State, alternative fuel and electric vehicle owners can enjoy free parking benefits. You are required to have a special decal, so it is important to contact your local DMV office before leaving the meter unpaid. Like many of the states on this list, California allows single-occupant use of HOV lanes by drivers with qualifying clean alternative fuel vehicles who have a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker. It gets better. Californians may qualify for up to $5,000 in rebates for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Fleet owners for public agencies operating in California’s most vulnerable and pollution-burdened areas can qualify for credits on these vehicles of up to $15,000! Oh, there is more. In California, among other states, you may qualify for a car insurance discount ranging from five to 10 percent with certain providers.

Electric Car Incentives in the Future

The push for alternative fuels and electric-powered vehicles is gaining traction year over year. As more and more manufacturers pay attention to the demands for more affordable fuel efficient vehicles, business and individuals will be able to take advantage of lower prices, state incentives, and cleaner air.

Top 10 Best-selling Best Fuel Economy Cars

Top 10 Best-selling Best Fuel Economy Cars

Batteries Shine; Diesel Down, But Not Out of the Mix

We’re closing in on the end of the year, when sales traditionally slow down, so it’s a good time to take stock of what’s selling among the hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric and clean diesel cars and trucks. Of course, this year’s high fuel economy models are complicated by two major developments.

Number one is the low cost of gasoline. Fuel economy has slipped from the top of many shopping lists. It’s still important to many folks, but gas under two dollars in some areas has some opting

2016, Toyota Prius,new model

A new Prius may spur the best-seller to new heights

for bigger vehicles. Low gas prices have persisted all year and are forecast to last well into 2016. The impact is clear when you look at the numbers. Hybrids sales for the first 10 months of the year are down 15.7 percent compared to the same period in 2014. Plug-in hybrids dropped twice that (30.6 percent), but that also may reflect some people waiting for the introduction of the 2016 Volt, which just hit the market. Battery electrics bucked the trend (although they’re also the lowest volume segment) and increased 8.2 percent compared to last year, beating the overall market increase of 5.9 percent.

The second impact is Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” emissions cheating scandal. The long-term impact is uncertain, but in the interim VW four-cylinder diesels were pulled off the market in October (the V-6 diesels followed suit this month). Even with the two top-selling car models off the market the last month and scathing anti-diesel headlines, the diesel market is only down 5.5 percent for the year and even in October outsold both plug-in hybrids and pure battery electrics.

Markets Carved Up in Different Ways

Tesla,Model S, best-seller

Tesla Model S -best-seller among the battery cars

While the overall automotive market remains quite diverse with seven major companies (GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai-Kia) dividing up most the sales, when you move to the four segments we focus on, the competitive landscape changes dramatically. In hybrids, Toyota’s products (Toyota and Lexus) dominate with almost three-fourths of sales (71 percent). A similar trend was seen in diesels until this month when the four best-selling VW’s were pulled off the market, with Volkswagen typically taking more than half of segment’s sales. Plug-in hybrids are kind of a duopoly with GM and Ford dividing up 90 percent of the segment’s sales. Only the battery electric market seems to reflect the competitiveness of the general market Tesla, Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen dividing 86 percent of sales among themselves.

The Top 10 (and a second 10 as well)

Our Top 10 best-selling best fuel economy cars for the year so far has a familiar feel to it, but some of the players have shifted positions this time around. Sales figures are for the first 10 months of 2015 (January-October). We’ve linked to our road tests of the vehicles where available.

Top 10 Best MPG Cars

  1. Toyota Prius – The Prius Liftback continues to lead the high-MPG world in sales, well on the way to another 100,000+ sales year. Sales are off compared to last year, but a new model will soon hit the market and the expectation is that will provide a bump in sales. [95,389]
  2. Ram 1500 EcoDiesel – The Ram flies the diesel flag. In fact it flies it so high that the only reason sales numbers aren’t higher is that Ram can’t get more engines to stuff into its half-ton
    2016,Ram,Ecodiesel,mpg, fuel economy

    Solid top of the diesel market

    pickups. [48,789]

  3. Toyota Prius c – The “baby” Prius continues a strong performance as the quartet bearing the Prius brand (the original Prius liftback, the c, the V and the plug-in Prius) remain the most visible symbol of a fuel-economy focused automobile and have the numbers to back up their image. [33,022]
  4. Toyota Camry Hybrid – The hybrid variation of the strong-selling Camry midsize sedan has always sold well and continues to hold a spot in the Top 10. [26,815]
  5. Toyota Prius V – Closing out four of the top five spots for Toyota is the wagon version of the Prius, reinforcing a concern for functionality along with a desire for fuel economy. [24,607]
  6. Ford Fusion HybridFord has been charging hard into the fuel economy space and making a name for itself with EcoBoost engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric cars. The Fusion Hybrid is the bestseller of the group. [21,333]
  7. Tesla Model S The big Tesla sedan continue to add U.S. sales while also expanding overseas and introducing its Model X SUV. [19,800]
  8. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – The Korean automaker has moved up methodically in the rankings as the hybrid model of its strong-selling Sonata midsize sedan. [17,839] A little further down the ranks (at 17) the sister car to the Sonata, the Kia Optima Hybrid, has also been selling well.
  9. Volkswagen Passat TDI – VW’s midsize diesel sedan is off the market right now, but racked up enough sales through September to keep in the Top 10. [16,882]
  10. Volkswagen Jetta TDILike its bigger brother, the Passat, the diesel Jetta is off the market, but did well enough in the first nine months of the year to keep in the Top 10. The Golf Sportwagen TDI model also was fairly high on the charts (19). [16,183]

While we’ve called out the Top 10, we should also mention some models just bubbling under that deserve some attention, particularly as we look forward to a changing landscape where electrics and plug-in hybrids become more readily available.

2016, Chevrolet,Chevy,Volt,plug-in hybrid

The new Volt is top of the plug-in hybrid segmetn

Just missing the cut (11) is the second best-selling pure electric, the Nissan Leaf, followed by two hybrids—the Ford C-Max and the Lexus CT200h, then the best-selling plug-in hybrid, the Chevy Volt, (which is introducing a redesigned model) and the Honda Accord Hybrid round out the next five. In the next batch are Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Optima Hybrid, Lexus ES Hybrid, VW Golf Sportwagen TDI and the surging BMW i3 (available in both pure electric and range-extended electric versions). The Ford Fusion Energi, the second best-selling plug-in hybrid, rounds out the list. Of course there are another couple dozen models (cumulative) in all four categories that sell in small numbers.

It would be hard to go wrong with any of the cars on this list, although you do have to factor in your individual life situation to make sure the technology fits your needs.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

Top 10 Cars for “Eco-Excellence”

Top 10 Green Cars

Top 10 Electric Cars

America’s Top 10 Cleanest Energy & Dirtiest Energy States

America’s Top 10 Cleanest Energy & Dirtiest Energy States

Tallying Up the Good Guys & the Rest

This post originally appeared on Modernize.com where you can find comprehensive solar information from industry experts.

America’s energy policy has been the subject of much recent debate: From the Pope’s public advocacy of environmental stewardship to the EPA’s toughened regulations on pollution from petroleum refineries, the sources that power our society have rarely been so widely scrutinized. Once regarded as a subject best left to the energy sector, the way we fuel our economy has proven its relevance for all citizens, both in America and across the globe.

For our team at Modernize, this subject seems particularly important. We’re dedicated to providing consumers information and opportunities related to one of clean energy’s most promising technologies: solar panels. Our primary interest is in helping individual readers find environmentally friendly solar options that generate wallet-friendly savings in the long run.

But we’re also paying attention to how whole swaths of the American energy landscape operate. That’s where our project “America’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Energy States” comes in. If you want to know your state’s energy track record or find out which states are leading (and trailing) the push for renewables, you’re going to want to read what comes next.

Our Methodology

For this project, we went straight to the most authoritative source available on America’s energy realities. We gathered data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the federal agency responsible for tracking stats related to America’s energy production and consumption. Lucky for us, they’ve got data dating back to 1960 and as recent as 2013, so we took the long view on each state’s energy legacy. Our work engaged a range of subjects, from total energy production from renewable sources to carbon dioxide emissions over time. Take a look at what we found out:

Not Everything is Bigger in Texas…

Let’s get something straight: “Renewable” energy sources run the gamut from hydropower to wind, solar, and more. The EIA includes biofuels, such as ethanol, in this category as well. That means that virtually any state can tap into renewables, though some types are more readily utilized in certain natural environments (for instance, the Midwest makes good use of its wind). But that also means oil- and coal-rich states like Texas and West Virginia have historically focused their efforts on sourcing energy from “fossil” fuels, so their output from renewables is relatively paltry.

To see each state’s numbers, check out the map below:

Cleanest energy states

The Cleanest States Are Lighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are the top 10 cleanest energy producers (of total energy from renewables):

Top 10 renewable energy states

Top 10 Renewable Energy States

Maybe Washington, California, and Oregon come as no surprise – we associate them with environmental concern and the geographical variety to embrace multiple renewable technologies simultaneously. But the rest of the states that top the renewables ranking embody a striking mix of size, population, political preference, and socioeconomic standing. If this ranking indicates anything, it’s that success with renewables is possible in any combination of circumstances.

Power Percentages

Now we know the score when it comes to the total volume of energy produced from renewables by state. But some states produce plenty of both, while others have pristine clean-energy records but fall short of the top 10 because their total production is too small to compete. So we also looked at how much of each state’s total energy production renewables account for – call these our Top 10 Cleanest Energy Percentage Power Rankings:

Top 10 Cleanest Energy States by Percentage

Top 10 Cleanest Energy States by Percentage

Yes, you read that right: Rhode Island, Idaho, Hawaii, Delaware, and D.C. produce virtually all of their energy from renewable sources. Sure, that might be different if these states had been dealt a different hand in the distribution of natural resources (no one’s begging to drill outside Newport), but we can appreciate their commitment to renewable energy all the same. After all, necessity is the mother of invention – and as time goes on, more and more states may find themselves in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there’s the cohort above, all of whom derived less than 2.5% of all the energy they produce from renewable sources from 1960–2013. The difference in reliance on renewables couldn’t be starker: Wyoming’s renewable portfolio accounts for roughly one in every 250 BTUs (British Thermal Units – oddly, no longer commonly used in the U.K.) that the state produces. Many of the constituents of this dirtiest energy ranking are too rich in coal and oil to need much in the way of renewable alternatives – but that doesn’t mean they won’t adopt more sustainable technologies in the coming years. Here’s the Bottom 10 Dirtiest Energy States:

Bottom 10 Dirtiest States

Bottom 10 Dirtiest States

Pollution and Solutions

Perhaps the most concerning byproduct of fossil fuel energy production is pollution. That term covers many kinds of potentially harmful emissions, but the best-known variety is carbon dioxide. The EIA offers carbon dioxide data from 1990–2012, so we’ve tracked the 10 worst emissions offenders over that time:

Bottom 10 Dirtiest Energy Producers

Bottom 10 Dirtiest Energy Producers

Predictably, Texas is at the top – but what about California or New York? Why do states that ranked high in renewable energy production make the list? The answer is simple: Carbon dioxide emissions aren’t just a function of energy production. It’s no accident that the top-ranked states are almost all quite populous; the more people, the more energy they consume. That translates to emissions resulting from cars, heat, and other comforts modern Americans depend upon in daily life. But don’t think emissions are an intransigent evil: Some states are making great strides.

Let’s take a moment to commend these states for what they’ve accomplished in just 22 years. New York, Michigan, and Ohio are particularly exciting cases, demonstrating that even states closely associated with major industry can reduce emissions substantially. Additionally, some of the states that ranked high in the percentage of energy generated from renewables appear on this list, making it clear that improvement can always be a priority, whatever you accomplish for the environment. Here’s the Top 10 Most Improved Energy States:

Top 10 Most Improved Clean Energy States

Top 10 Most Improved Clean Energy States

Speaking of improvement, let’s remember that your own home can contribute to the pursuit of new, clean technologies, no matter which state you live in. Whether it’s turning off the light when you walk out of a room or researching solar options that will also create savings, you can do a lot to promote a cleaner energy world. Who knows? If you and enough of your neighbors make the right choices, your state might just jump up on our cleanest states ranking!

Top 10 Best-Selling MPG Cars of 2015 (First Half)

Top 10 Best-Selling MPG Cars of 2015 (First Half)

Winners and Losers from a Half-Year of Ups and Downs

We’re in a whole new game for those looking for an alternative to gasoline-powered transportation. The first half of 2015 paints a complex picture of where the market is heading.

Hybrids, the high-mileage darlings of the 1990s, are proliferating in number of models, but sales of the segment overall are dropping. Pure electrics and plug-in hybrids are adding models and gaining market share, but working off of low numbers and not hitting a consistent mark. Diesels are outpacing the market in growth, but mainly on the strength of truck and SUV models.

The good news is the choices out there are more plentiful and better than ever—the Top 10 only skims the surface of the 95 models out there. The number of EV, plug-in hybrid, hybrid and clean

2015, VW, Volkswagen, fuel economy, mpg, Sportwagen TDI, Golf Sportwagen

It’s all about the numbers

diesel models continues to grow. You could even argue that a high-mileage gas car may give you a better $/mile efficiency than some of the more exotic hardware and plenty of choices are available there as well. State and federal Incentives are still out there for many advanced technology models and automakers are not being shy about adding their own spiffs at the dealer level to keep moving models out of the showroom.

As usual, a tip of the hat to Jeff Cobb at hybridcars.com and Baum & Associates, who crunch the numbers each month.

Before we dive into some Top 10 lists, let’s look at the big picture. Was it a good year for our favorite vehicles? The overall auto market has done well, up 4.4 percent from a solid 2014 with sales clocking in at 8.49 million vehicles. Double that and you’re looking at an almost 17 million unit year, but second half sales don’t always work that way so we’ll need to see how things shake out. Overall, though, no one in the auto industry is complaining so far.

On the alternative side, the picture is not so smooth. Hybrids continue a slide that started last year, down 18 percent but still the volume leader among alternative technologies. Diesels flat in sales compared to last year, which also was a flat year for them (of course these sales numbers don’t include the popular heavy-duty pickups, a segment dominated by diesels). Pure electric cars are having a solid year as new models are added and some older ones drop off. Plug-in hybrids are off, but hopeful a couple refreshed models (Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius) will reinvigorate the segment.  Here are the charts for January-June 2015:

Hybrids                 46 models           Sales=190,970 down 18% compared to 2014

Plug-in Hybrids  9 models              Sales=18,509 down 36.5%

Battery Electrics  13 models         Sales=35,435 up 26.3%

Diesels                  27 models           Sales=89,180 down 0.4%

The total tally for these four segments (throw in a couple hundred CNG Honda Civics if you’d like) is just under 335,000 or about four percent of the overall market. Fuel economy and reduced petroleum consumption appears to remain high on the agenda of a good-size group of consumers.

Our Top 10 for the year so far in sales has a familiar feel to it, but some of the players have shifted positions this time around. We’ve linked to our road tests of the vehicles where available.

Top 10 Best MPG Cars

  1. Toyota Prius – The Prius in its traditional form continues to lead the high-MPG world in sales, appearing to be on the way to another 100,000+ sales year, clocking in at 54,173 for the first half of the year.
  2. Ram 1500 EcoDiesel – A newcomer to these charts is half-ton Ram pickup, which has been a strong seller since its introduction. It ended the first half of the year with 29,658 units sold.

    Toyota,Prius c,mpg,

    The smallest Prius can sneak into your heart

  3. Toyota Prius c – The “baby” Prius continues a strong performance as the quartet bearing the Prius brand (the original Prius liftback, the c, the V and the plug-in Prius) remain the most visible symbol of a fuel-economy focused automobile and have the numbers to back up their image. The c sold 18,921 vehicles in the first six months of the year.
  4. Toyota Camry Hybrid – The hybrid variation of the strong-selling Camry midsize sedan has always sold well and continues to hold a spot in the Top 10, selling 15,571 models during the first half of 2015.
  5. Toyota Prius V – Closing out four of the top five spots for Toyota is the wagon version of the Prius, reinforcing a concern for functionality along with a desire for fuel economy. The V sold 14,165 cars from January to June.
  6. Ford Fusion Hybrid – Ford has been charging hard into the fuel economy space and making a name for itself with EcoBoost engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric cars. The Fusion Hybrid is the bestseller of the group, moving 12,683 units in the first half of the year.
  7. Tesla Model S The big Tesla sedan continue to add U.S. sales while also expanding overseas. New variations on the full electric car, including an all-wheel drive model and some performance enhancements, appear to be keeping sales up. Tesla sold 11,900 Model S during this time frame.
  8. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – The Korean automaker has moved up methodically in the rankings as the hybrid model of its strong-selling Sonata midsize sedan hit 11,838 in sales from January to June. A little further down the ranks the sister car to the Sonata, the Kia Optima Hybrid, has also been selling well.
  9. Volkswagen Passat TDI – VW’s midsize sedan has passed up its compact brother to take the lead in diesel segment sales. In spite of a sluggish year for VW sales and diesel as well, the Passat TDI clocked 11,746 models sold in the first half of the year.
  10. Volkswagen Jetta TDIThe traditional leader of the diesel segment dropped notch while still selling 11,692 units in this period. The switch of the Sportwagen model to the Golf brand may have contributed to knocking it out of its leadership position.

While we’ve called out the Top 10, we should also mention some models just bubbling under that deserve some attention, particularly as we look forward to a changing landscape where electrics and plug-in hybrids become more readily available.

Just missing the cut is the second best-selling pure electric, the Nissan Leaf, followed by a trio of hybrids—the Ford C-Max, Lexus CT200h and Honda Accord—then the best-selling plug-in hybrid,

2014,BMW i3,range extender,electric car

Another newcomer to the list

the Chevy Volt, rounds out that group of five. In the next batch are the VW Golf TDI, which is surging in sales this year, the BMW i3 (available in both pure electric and range-extended electric versions) and the Ford Fusion Enegri, the plug-in version of Ford’s midsize sedan.

It would be hard to go wrong with any of the cars on this list, although you do have to factor in your individual life situation to make sure the technology fits your needs.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

Top 10 Cars for “Eco-Excellence”

Top 10 Green Cars

Top 10 Electric Cars