Green Living

Published on June 27th, 2017 | by Jim Motavalli

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Green Car Buying Tips

Fuel Economy Plus Sales Incentives Equal Big Savings

 

Battery electric: Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

With the Bolt—GM’s first battery electric since the EV1—the buyer can get from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 6.5 seconds from its 200-horsepower motor plus attain 238 miles of range from its huge, 60-kilowatt-hour battery, winning it 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year, Green Car Journal’s 2017 Green Car of the Year and 2017 North American Car of the Year from a jury of automotive journalists. Prices start at $36,620, but subsidies can top $10,000.

 

Plug-in hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron

Audi A3 e-tron

The power (204 horsepower) and zero-to-60 mph time capability is similar to the Bolt, but the A3 offers a more sumptuous cabin and Audi’s celebrated driving dynamics. The electric range is a mere 16 miles, but 380 miles total using the 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine. Prices start at $38,900, but it qualifies for a $4,500 federal tax credit and some state subsidies, too.

 

 

Hybrid car: Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander

Mildly updated for 2017, the Highlander is the only three-row hybrid SUV currently available, making it worth considering. Good news includes a power increase in the 3.5-liter V-6 (to 306 horsepower), although there’s a small fuel-economy penalty. The hybrid is rated at 30 miles per gallon in the city, 28 highway and 29 combined. The bottom line cost starts at $36,270 without subsidies.

 

Other worthy cars: The fuel cell-powered Honda Clarity, Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson (for southern Californians); any of the Ioniqs; the versatile plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt; and the quick BMW i3 and i8 and Tesla Model S if the budget allows.


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