As consumers become more aware of the negative effects of gasoline-based engines on the environment, and as electric vehicles and hybrid cars become more affordable and accessible, these special automobiles are starting to gain the increased attention that they deserve.
Automobile manufacturers have constantly been developing such vehicles to be released into the market. Here are just 10 of the many electric vehicles and hybrid cars that are going to be released this year.
Tesla Model S P85D
No other electric car company has made a splash as big as Tesla Motors, and with the announcement of the all-wheel-drive D models of the company's Model S electric vehicle, it is looking to cement its status as the foremost luxury electric car maker.
The Model S P85D costs over $120,000 each, a steep price but one that fits the car that set the world record for being the quickest and fastest production electric vehicle.
The BMW i3 features a revolutionary carbon fiber and aluminum structure that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 6.5 seconds. It is estimated to reach 81 miles on one charge, which can be filled up in three hours from the usual 220-volt outlet. The vehicle also has the option of coming with a gasoline engine to add more range to the tune of 150 miles to the vehicle. Not bad for a supposedly entry-level electric car that has a starting price of just over $43,000.
Challenging the status of the Tesla Model S P85D as the premiere luxury electric vehicle is the BMW i8, which features 357 horsepower packed within its supercar-like looks. It has a top speed of 155 miles per hour but an equivalent fuel economy of only 30 miles per gallon.
Audi R8 e-Tron
The Audi R8 e-Tron features two electric engines for a 456 horsepower that enables the car to go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. It has a charging time of less than two hours and a range of 280 miles.
The Toyota Prius is the world's best-selling hybrid vehicle, and the car company is looking to continue its success with the 2015 model. While the popular hybrid has an equivalent fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon and a starting price of just over $25,000, it is not as exciting to drive as other hybrids in the market.
While Tesla Motors made electric vehicles stylish, it was the Nissan Leaf that brought the cars to the mainstream. With its very affordable price, easy driving and user friendliness, the Nissan Leaf should always be an option for people looking to get into using electric vehicles at entry level prices.
Volvo XC90 T8
The Volvo XC90 T8 is a hybrid SUV that features up to 25 miles of electric driving with a 400 horsepower, while only releasing 60g/km of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Volvo is claiming that the XC90 T8 will be offering the best fuel economy and performance in its class.
Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in
Already out in the market for a couple of years in Japan and Europe, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in is finally arriving in the United States. It will not be exactly the same from the one being sold in Japan and Europe though, as it has been redesigned to feature a more sporty edge.
Mercedes Benz GLE-Class Plug-in
The Mercedes Benz GLE-Class SUV, formerly known as the M-Class or ML-Class, will have a plug-in hybrid version arriving in the United States within the year. While details about the vehicle are scarce, it is another hybrid SUV entering the suddenly competitive market.
The Ford C-Max hybrid is based on the Focus, which is already a vehicle that is fun to drive with its firm steering. The Energi, which is the vehicle's all-electric version, increases the vehicle's battery capacity for extended range. It is already out in Europe and will be coming soon to the United States.