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Plugging in to market

You can count on one hand the number of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on sale in the U.S.: The Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. But more, covering the spectrum from small city to luxury performance cars, will join them in the next few years.

Automakers have announced these battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for the U.S. market. (Note: Some of the timing could change because of the Japanese earthquake.):

BMW: The i3 electric and i8 plug-in hybrid are scheduled to arrive in 2013. The ActiveE is in field trials.

Chrysler/Fiat: The Fiat 500EV will arrive in 2012.

Ford: In addition to the Transit Connect Electric ($57,400), the Focus Electric will launch this year. The C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid, will come in 2012.

Fisker: Deliveries of the Karma, a plug-in hybrid, four-door sports sedan, ($95,900-$108,900) begin in late June. A convertible is set for late 2012, and a third variant will debut at the end of this year. A smaller car (Project Nina), between the A4 and A6 in size, is scheduled for late 2012 or early 2013.

General Motors: In addition to the Volt ($41,000), a plug-in hybrid will be coming to the U.S. market, probably within the next two years.

Honda: In 2012, Honda will introduce the Fit EV and a plug-in hybrid model with Honda's new dual, two-motor hybrid system for mid- to larger-size vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz: In 2013, Mercedes will begin limited production of the SLS AMG E-Cell gull wing. Mercedes has not yet announced when it will be available in the U.S.

Mini: The Mini E is being leased in small numbers.

Mitsubishi: The Mitsubishi "i" (around $30,000) — the larger, four-passenger North American version of the i-MiEV — will go on sale in the Western U.S. in November and nationwide by the end of 2012.

Nissan: In addition to the Leaf ($32,780), three more all-electric vehicles are due by 2014: a small commercial van based on the Nissan NV200, a small urban vehicle (either Nissan or Infiniti) and an Infiniti high-performance five-seater.

Smart: Currently, 250 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive vehicles are being leased in the U.S.; by mid-2012 they will be on sale here.

Tesla: The high-speed Roadster plug-in hybrid ($109,000) is on sale. In mid-2012 Tesla will begin selling the electric Model S sedan ($57,400).

Think: Retail sales of the Think City two-seat electric car will begin in the second half of this year ($36,500).

Toyota: In 2012 Toyota will introduce the Prius Plug-in Hybrid; the RAV4 EV, in partnership with Tesla; and a small, urban commuter electric car based on the iQ.

Volkswagen: Look for the electric Golf Blue-e-motion late in 2013.

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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