By Brad Berman ·
September 26, 2018

Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars

We're doing our best to track the growing list of federal and state-based incentives for purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid. See how much you can save to get behind the wheel of an electric-drive plug-in vehicle.

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The second plug-in hybrid from Mercedes is brought to the small luxury C-Class. It’s both sporty, with a total output of 275 horsepower, and capable of about 9 miles of ultra-efficient electric driving. The C350 is stylish, well appointed, and loaded with advanced safety features. The ability to plug in pushes the C-Class car to new levels of efficiency.

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The Cayenne S E-Hybrid is the first luxury plug-in SUV to hit the market. It combines the stylish lines and sporty performance of a Porsche in the form of its popular crossover. The 2019 model adds a 10.1 kilowatt-hour battery, which could provide up to 27 all-electric driving, with total average EPA efficiency of around 47 MPGe.

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The XC60 plug-in hybrid, which arrived in showrooms in mid-2017, is a smaller alternative to the XC90 full-size plug-in SUV. The crossover XC60 is a compact, stylish, and powerful sport utility. While somewhat pricey at $53,000, the XC60 T8 is another sign that Volvo is serious about phasing out internal combustion over the coming years.

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The Volvo XC90 T8 is a luxury high-performance plug-in hybrid SUV. It offers comfort, safety, and a level of efficiency previously thought impossible in an all-wheel-drive people-mover.

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The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime provides an EV-only range of 25 miles thanks to its 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. After those miles, the Prius Prime delivers 54 mpg when running on gas compared to the Volt's 42 miles per gallon. That's impressive and so is the versatility of the Prius's well-known hatchback design. However, the Prius Prime is strictly a four-passenger vehicle.

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In December 2017, Mitsubishi started delivering the market’s first non-luxury crossover-SUV plug-in hybrid. It provides 22 miles of all-electric range and comes standard with all-wheel-drive. Although affordable compared to its luxury competitors, there are some compromises in terms of interior quality.

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MINI started selling the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 in June 2017. The stylish S E Countryman provides a spirited ride—while relying purely on electricity for about 12 miles and at speeds up to 78 miles per hour. The all-wheel-drive car is not only zero-emissions for local driving, but it’s fun to pilot. Its 224-horsepower powertrain delivers zero-to-60 mph acceleration in less than seven seconds.

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The conventional and no-plug hybrid versions of the Optima are praised for the model’s attractive design and compliant ride. However, the Optima is in the middle of a crowded pack of midsize sedans—a category led by models such as the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, and Mazda6. Also, the Optima Plug-in Hybrid is more expensive than the Kia Niro crossover and Hyundai Ioniq hatchbacks, which are newer plug-in models offering similar levels of all-electric range.

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Subaru will introduce a plug-in version of the capable, all-wheel-drive Crosstrek Hybrid in late 2018. Few details are known at this time, except for the Crosstrek’s reliance on Toyota technology—the same system used in the Prius Prime. It’s guesswork, but we believe the Crosstrek will offer an all-electric range of about 20 miles and a price below $30,000.

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