2010 Toyota Prius III Hybrid

Front right white 2010 Toyota Prius III Hybrid Car Picture

The Speediest (and Spendiest) Green Vehicles

The popularity of green vehicles has grown exponentially in the United States. In 2011, 268,752 hybrids were newly registered in the United States, and just one year later, in 2012, the number grew to 434,498. Thatís an increase of well over 50% in just a single year. Altogether, well over 3 million hybrid vehicles have been purchased in the United States since the first models were rolled out in 1997. Of course, the most popular green vehicle model is the Toyota Prius, followed by other vehicles, including the Ford Fusion, the Nissan Leaf (all electric), and the Toyota Yaris, among others. Advancements in technology and design have made these vehicles, once considered to be out of reach for the average family, more cost-effective and attainable for more families than ever. Not to mention, new car technology can potentially lessen the amount of defects. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Newer, faster and much more expensive green cars have emerged that promise to lure in well-to-do eco-friendly consumers, just as the now-standard models did when they first arrived on the scene. Here are three such examples.

2014 McLaren P1

Yes, elite sports car maker McLaren is in the hybrid market. Its 2014 model can reach 62 MPH in under 3 seconds and it can get up to 217 MPH in under 17 seconds. Take a look under its hood and youíll see it has a 903 horsepower engine. The P1 is capable of driving up to 6.2 miles on just electric power (but you donít really want to be speeding when driving in all electric mode) and its 324-cell battery, which is liquid cooled, can be charged on deceleration, or by using a wall plug thatís housed in the vehicleís luggage area. Cool feature: The P1 has a special button for whatís being called Ďpit lane chargingí. It charges up the battery in 10 minutes by turning the V8 engine into a sort of generator. Just what would you expect to pay for all of this power that is surprisingly Earth friendly? The McLaren P1 comes in with a price tag of $1.15 million.

Tesla

Touted as the safest car in the country, the Tesla S is also one of the best-looking electric vehicle sedans on the market. The Tesla S comes in both a base model and performance sedan model, and each comes with its own set of features, as well as its own sticker price. Three battery options are available, ranging from 60 kWh to 85 kWh and 85 kWh (performance), and the Tesla S has a driving range of between 230 and 300 miles (at 55 MPH). This car is so advanced. The only thing itís missing is a tailpipe. How much will you pay for this sleek, safe, and eco-friendly beauty? For the base model, you can expect to pay between $59,900 and about $71,000. The performance model is a bit spendier, with a range between $91,070 and $94,900.

Cadillac

In the world of hybrid SUVís, the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum Edition sits alone at the top of the list of most expensive hybrid SUVís currently available. Bentley is scheduled to release its own hybrid SUV in 2016, with a price tag of somewhere in the range of $237,000, but, for now, itís all about the Escalade. This powerhouse boasts all of the luxury of the traditional Escalade, but with a few energy-saving tricks up its sleeve. Four of its eight cylinders are deactivated when possible to help limit fuel usage, and the vehicleís Regenerative Braking system converts kinetic energy into electric so it can be used later by its electric motor. Even with its advanced eco-friendly design, there is a downside. The Escalade hybrid still only gets 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. If you crave luxury and space, you can expect to shell out up to $87,670 for the Cadillac Escalade hybrid.

Whether you live in Buffalo, West Virginia, Buffalo City, Wisconsin or Buffalo, Wyoming, drive these vehicles with caution and safety in mind. Donít end up in the office of a West Virginia, Wyoming, or Wisconsin auto accident attorney just because you underestimated the power of your new hybrid. These cars are expensive for a reason, and part of it is because they are just as powerful as their traditional counterparts and, as such, they can be just as dangerous if theyíre not driven responsibly.




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