2014 Nissan Leaf electric car on the roads of Thimphu, BhutanEnlarge Photo
2014 Nissan Leaf
The distinctive Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car, with more than 100,000 delivered as of early this year. Nissan has placed a bigger bet on battery electric cars than any other established automaker, and seems determined to make the Leaf work--though there have been hiccups aplenty in the process.
2014 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
2014 Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S battery-electric luxury sport sedan is remarkable in any number of ways, from its performance (as low as 4.1 seconds from 0 to 60 mph) to the company's expanding network of DC fast-charging Supercharger locations that can recharge the car's battery to 80 percent in as little as 20 minutes. The Silicon Valley startup automaker has broken many rules of the auto industry, but it's succeeded in producing a car that's not just good but has won awards, delivered customer-satisfaction scores as high as any Consumer Reports had seen, and generally shaken up the global auto industry.
2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production modelEnlarge Photo
2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid
When it went on sale in February 2012, the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid was the only competitor for the Chevy Volt. Both cars plugged in to run on battery power, with an engine to back up the battery and add range once it was depleted. The trusted Prius hybrid brand (and access to California's carpool lanes) gave it a boost early on, but with many more plug-in hybrids on the market now--every one of them with more electric range--its sales appear to have plateaued lately.