The 2012 model year sees the introduction of a number of new electric cars. These green machines have the power to save you at the pump and the ability to accommodate your daily commute on a single charge. Keep reading to learn all about the 2012 electric cars and electric range extenders available in the coming year.
Introduced last year, the Nissan LEAF earned the title of "First Mass-Produced Electric Vehicle." For 2012, the vehicle returns relatively unchanged. The LEAF offers an estimated 100-mile range and seats up to five passengers. Base price for the vehicle is set at $32,780 (or $349 a month). As with most new electric cars, tax credits reduce the net purchase cost by at least $7,500.
Learn more about the 2012 Nissan LEAF
The Chevrolet Volt is a range-extending electric hybrid that manages 25 to 50 miles on full electric power. Once the battery is depleted, the Volt runs off a standard hybrid gasoline engine, which delivers approximately 40 mpg. For those who often drive more than 50 miles a day, this ability to continue on gas power has its advantages. Base price for the 2012 Chevy Volt is about $40,000.
Learn more about the 2012 Chevrolet Volt
Ford has big plans to enter the electric car market. The automaker's first release will be the Ford Focus Electric, which seats five and offers much of the same value as the Nissan Leaf. Estimated range is listed at 100 miles, and an advanced Level 2 home charging dock delivers a full battery charge in about four hours. Car shoppers can expect the MSRP of the Ford Focus Electric to be similar to that of the Nissan Leaf (around $30,000).
Learn more about the 2012 Ford Focus Electric
Electric car shoppers looking for a little extra cargo room may find a lot to like in the Ford C-Max Energi. This crossover vehicle boasts a plug-in hybrid design that is expected to deliver a 500-mile range thanks to the combination electric motor, lithium battery and gasoline engine. Overall, official mileage for the vehicle will likely land around 40 mpg.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is migrating to America after scuttling around Japan for the past couple years. The compact vehicle boasts a cutesy futuristic design and estimated range of about 80 miles. If you can find a rapid charging station, then the i-MiEV promises an 80-percent battery charge in about 25 minutes. Base price for the Lilliputian i-MiEV should start around $33,000.
Learn more about the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Toyota is introducing a Plug-In model for the Prius in 2012. The vehicle will look and drive pretty much exactly like a standard Prius Hybrid. However, the plug-in ability will allow drivers to achieve approximately 15 miles of pure electric power. If that sounds like a good buy for you, then the $32,000 base MSRP may prove worthwhile.
Learn more about the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In
The RAV4 EV will be one of the only options available for those interested in an electric SUV. However, the initial fleet is intended to be reserved for commercial and government fleets only. Range for the vehicle is expected to be 80 to 120 miles.
Learn more about the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV
Honda's popular Fit hatchback will soon be available in full EV and hybrid plug-in forms. For the EV, Honda promises a 100-mile range and six-hour charge time with a 240-volt outlet. The vehicle seats up to five passengers and will compete directly against the 2012 Ford Focus EV and 2012 Nissan Leaf. Shoppers can expect the starting price tag for the Fit EV to be just below $30,000, making it one of the most affordable electric vehicles for the year.
Learn more about the 2012 Honda Fit EV
Smart's quirky Fortwo vehicle returns for the 2012 year with an electric engine option. With a limited production level, these vehicles will be available in limited markets for lease only (a larger production release is scheduled for 2013). A maximum seating of two passengers may reduce the vehicle's appeal. However, as one of the most affordable electric vehicle options for the year, it is certainly still worth a look.
Learn more about the 2012 Smart Fortwo ED