BMW X5 xDrive40e
This list of 10 European hybrid and electric cars will include a couple of double entries from one manufacturer, because they’re too interesting to ignore. As well as the radical i3, this plug-in hybrid version of the X5 premium crossover is another of BMW’s efforts to cut emissions. The advantage here is that while an electric vehicle is great as a second car, a plug-in hybrid can be an only car. The xDrive40e’s range in electric mode is 14 miles, the best charging time is under three hours, and the EPA reckons it can achieve 56 MPGe. That’s impressive for an all-whee drive crossover SUV with a maximum of 72.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
Upsides: the 500e is characterful, quick and quiet. Downside: it’s only available in California and Oregon. This is an ideal city car, perfect for darting through traffic and fitting into tight parking spaces. It’s also affordable. Maximum range is 84 miles and a 240-volt unit can perform a full recharge in under four hours, while the average miles per gallon equivalent is calculated at 116 MPGe. However, this is a small car to begin with and the 500e’s rear space is reduced even more because of the need to accommodate a lithium-ion battery pack. There is a positive, though. That pack lowers the center of gravity, making this one of the best-handling Fiat 500 variants.