TeslaAs evidenced by
the flashy concept renderings all over the internet, every established car company out there, from Ford to Rolls-Royce, has a plug-in vehicle "in development." But the $109,000 Tesla Roadster is still the only highway-capable plug-in you can actually buy, fully assembled, in America. In July, Tesla accomplished something else car manufacturers should be jealous of: It turned a profit of $1 million.The road's been bumpy, though. There have been the nasty legal disputes between CEO Elon Musk and Tesla's co-founder Martin Eberhard, conflicts with inflexible Detroit suppliers, a brief recall fiasco, and the bankruptcy rumors of late 2008.This past summer however, with Daimler aboard as an investor, Tesla scooped up $465 million in low-interest government loans from the Department of Energy. With that money, it will begin producing the sleek $50,000 Model S sedan. In fact, this has been Tesla's plan all along: Gear an expensive, flashy electric car to the early adopters, establish a brand, generate some buzz, and then funnel that success into progressively cheaper models. Well played.
Coming soon to an outlet near you:BYD F3DM
The F3DM, from car company BYD, is already available in China and is targeted to hit the U.S. market in 2011. At $22,000, it'll be cheap by electric vehicle standards.Chevy Volt
The long-heralded savior of Detroit, the Chevy Volt, may finally reach U.S. markets in November of 2010, priced around $40,000.Toyota Prius Plug-in
A plug-in version of the third-generation Prius is currently being tested in Japan, Europe, and the United States. It's expected to be in mass production by 2012.Nissan Leaf
With a range of 100 miles and a price tag around $30,000, the LEAF will be introduced in 2010 in cities with an EV charging infrastructure.Think City EV
The boxy City EV is shipping to customers in Norway now. Think is looking to build a factory in the United States to make 2,500 cars in 2010.Fisker Karma
The exotic Fisker Karma is a 150-mph, $87,900 luxury four-door that looks like something James Bond would drive. Fisker is taking orders.