2016 Ford Fusion Energi - $34,775
7.6 kWh battery, 20 miles (EPA), 88 MPGe, 88 kW motor (195-hp combined)
For Fusion, read C-Max--mechanically, the two are near-identical. That means the same battery electric range and efficiency rating, despite the two different body styles. The Fusion is the looker of the pair though, while all that extra metal means finding a little extra cash before you sign on the line. More extensive upgrades are planned for 2017.
2015 Ford Focus Electric - $29,995
23 kWh battery, 76 miles (EPA), 105 MPGe, 107 kW motor
Ford's Leaf competitor offers slightly lower range, but more power. It's also better to drive, but sales have thus far been slow--and Ford is putting more faith in its other plug-in models, the C-MAX and Fusion Energi. Ford says it will add DC fast charging and increase range to 100 miles for 2017, so it might be worth waiting for the updated model.
2016 BMW i3 - $43,395
22 kWh battery, 81 miles (EPA - i3 REx 72-150 miles), 124 MPGe (i3 REx 117 MPGe), 125 kW motor
BMW's i3 is the most energy-efficient vehicle--of any kind--sold in the U.S. While it's one of the more expensive electric cars on the market aside from any Tesla, it's also one of the best. Its carbon fiber-reinforced plastic construction is like nothing else in the segment, nor is its futuristic styling and loft apartment-style interior. Range-extended models begin at $47,245.
2016 BMW i8 - $141,695
7.1 kWh battery, 15 miles (EPA), 76 MPGe, 96 kW motor (357 hp combined)
Making quite a different impression from the i3, the BMW i8 is a sleek plug-in hybrid coupe with similar carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum construction to the i3. The sexy styling is backed by an emphasis on performance, because when you're paying this much for a car, why not make it both fast and efficient?
2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e - $42,375
28 kWh battery, 87 miles (EPA), 84 MPGe, 132 kW motor
Mercedes' electric car is rechristened the B250e for 2016, throwing out the old B-Class Electric Drive moniker to align with Mercedes' new naming scheme. The hatchback is still only available in certain electric-car friendly states, but serves as a more practical alternative to the BMW i3 at a similar price.
2016 Tesla Model S - $71,200-$106,200
70-90 kWh battery, 234-270 miles (EPA), 89-101 MPGe, 284-568 kW motor
You may have seen a lower base price advertised for the Model S, but Tesla cheekily deducts the full $7,500 federal tax rebate in its price lists. Tesla recently updated the Model S lineup with its "Autopilot" and "Summon" autonomous driving features, and a "Ludicrous" mode for performance models. There's also a 90-kWh battery pack option that Tesla says should increase range by 6 to 7 percent, but that doesn't show up in EPA testing.
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf - $29,815
24.2 kWh battery, 83 miles (EPA), 116 MPGe, 85 kW motor
The Volkswagen e-Golf is still only available in a handful of states, but at least there's now a second trim level that drops the price a bit. The addition of this new SE model amounts to a roughly $4,500 cut in the base price. Range is almost identical to the base Nissan Leaf S.