The Tesla Model S continues to entertain us with its engaging driving characteristics and wicked speed. And now, it provides three-row seating in an electric sport sedan—an ability more often associated with some fuel-guzzling SUVs.
It ought to go without saying that with relatively few public chargers for electric cars, if you have an electric car you ought to be able to plug into any one of them.
We've been enjoying the Tesla Model S as it goes through its break-in period, leading into formal testing. During this time, I've been keen to find out its real-world range, and recently confirmed that driving this electric car—like any other—can bring some range anxiety. Although winter highway driving may present a worst-case scenario, our Tesla actually delivered the range it projected.
Toyota usually leaves spacious luxury car duties to its premium Lexus brand. But Toyota dealers have many loyal customers with needs for big-car room, luxury and utility but at a non-upscale price. And for years the Avalon has been a cornerstone of that demand.
The Fiat 500e electric car is Chrysler's token entry for complying with California's zero-emissions mandate. In living with the 500e, it was clear that Chrysler engineers didn't just phone this one in; they actually sweated the details and came up with an EV that's fun and appealing.
Shortly after we received our own Tesla Model S, I was lucky enough to snag it for a three-day weekend. Not only is the Tesla cool and really fun to drive, this is the first EV that can I can actually use for my 160-mile round trip commute.
Unlike some EVs, the Ford Focus Electric feels like a real car. It's solid, sophisticated and a delight to drive. The Focus EV is also quick, provides effortless acceleration, agile handling, and a supple and composed ride.
The i-MiEV may fulfill its mission to be an efficient and basic urban runabout, but I don't think it's a car in which anyone will be happy spending time.
The delivery of our Tesla Model S last Friday culminated over two years of wait. We put a $5,000 deposit in October, 2010 and waited our turn. California start-up Tesla is a new kind of company that builds only electric cars. And as if that's not innovative enough, the purchase process is quite novel as well. While we were waiting for our own car, we borrowed one for an early look back in November:
Today, Nissan started building its Leaf electric cars in the United States. In addition to local production, the 2013 model year also brings several improvements to the Leaf, including a lower base price, faster charger, and some additional options.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a minimum sound standard for electric and hybrid vehicles to help reduce pedestrian fatalities.
When real-world fuel economy doesn't match EPA estimates, the difference may lie in the cars' design. Ford's new C-Max and Fusion hybrids fall far short of their "47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg," according to a growing number of reports.
Ford has been making some eye-opening claims about the fuel economy of the redesigned 2013 Fusion Hybrid sedan and new C-Max Hybrid wagon: "47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg." After running both vehicles through our real-world tests, we have gotten very good results. But they are far below Ford's ambitious triple-47 figures.
Consumer Reports' headquarters is 115 miles from our test track, or about 35 miles longer than the measured range on our Ford Focus Electric. When I was assigned to drive our test car from our New York headquarters back to the Connecticut Auto Test facility, I knew it would test my EV convictions.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: