The Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On

While there's never really a bad time of year to buy a greener and more energy efficient new vehicle, tax time does provide an excellent opportunity to buy your green dream machine, especially when that new car (like these electric models) comes with generous government incentives and tax rebates. Traditionally, buying an electric car is a wise move right before the end of the year, when you would have to separate the purchase along with your tax returns due April 15th.

Whoops, little late for that now. Fortunately, buying an electric car now offers the best of both financial worlds, and the benefits last into 2015! By investing your tax refund from 2013 on an electric car in 2014 and taking advantage of this year's federal incentives, you're going to get to claim that purchase on your 2014 taxes and get a sweeter refund in 2015. But if that's too much math for you, trust us when we say that buying an electric vehicle now definitely has its benefits, so get on it.

Invest your tax refund on an electric car

Here are the electric cars that can not only help you save tax dollars, but also can get you access to local High Occupancy or Carpool Lanes during traffic time on the freeway. Yep, electric cars in many states are allowed to travel in these lanes with only one occupant as they emit no greenhouse gasses (which, honestly, is reason enough to buy electric). Here are some of our favorite and not so favorite choices in current electric autos.

Electric Cars We Love!

Best Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - BMW i3

Image: BMW

BMW i3: With its ultra-lightweight body and state of the art, cutting edge electric-only powertrain and out of this world styling, the new BMW i3 is going to bring the fight to the Nissan Leaf. Come on, a BMW vs. a Nissan? The styling alone from one screams “messy bird’s nest” whereas the BMW is seemingly a transportation device sent from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. It's a knock out. And it's a BMW. Check it out!

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Tesla Model S

Image: Tesla

Tesla Sedan (or waitlist for Model-X SUV): The first truly lust-worthy electric car and soon to be—SUV? Yep. This is an obvious choice. Turns out it is easy being green! This is definitely a bigger investment, but it really is the whole package.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - BMW i8

Image: BMW

BMW i-8 EV Sport Coupe: An electric car for the one percent. For just over $120,000 BMW might sell you one off its upcoming i-8 EV sport coupes, which is sexiness on four wheels. Yes, an electric SPORT coupe. And also a BMW. And it has wings.

Electric Cars We Recommend!

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Fiat 500e

Image: Fiat

Fiat 500 e: Usually painted in some lurid color with silver side mirror caps, the 500e definitely won’t fade into the background. That’s good, because it’s range is only average. Performance is good, though, and it's one of the more stylish green vehicles around.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On- Honda Fit EV

Image: Honda

Honda Fit Electric: Thanks to a special Sport Button that first debuted on the Fit, you can deplete your little electric Honda’s battery as quickly or slowly as you want. Thankfully, this model comes with one of the longest ranges in its class, which we expected from Honda.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - VW eGolf

Image: James Hamel

Volkswagen e-Golf: Not out in the United States quite yet (just wait!), but it is going to be full electric with a longer range and more utility than anything else on the market in its price class. Not to be ignored.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Kia Soul EV

Image: James Hamel

Kia Soul-EV: Kia bravely dives hamsters first into the waters of all-electric motoring, and from our experience driving the Soul, we can safely tell you the EV version is a winner.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Mercedes Benz B Class Electric

Image: Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz B-Class Electric Drive: This is just like a Mercedes CLA sedan. Only it’s a hatchback and it runs on electricity. Got that? It’s still a Benz.

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Toyota RAV4 EV

Image: James Hamel

Toyota RAV4 EV: Powered by Tesla battery technology. Toyota isn’t stupid - after all, they made the Prius, they know how to recognize who makes the best.

Electric Cars That Are OK

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Nissan Leaf Image: Nissan

Nissan Leaf: There are electric cars that are more fun to drive with longer ranges and nicer interiors. Oh yeah, and don’t look totally dorky to boot. Just please don’t order your Leaf in that horrible Robin Egg’s Blue...

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Chevy Spark EV

Image: James Hamel

Chevy Spark EV: Offered very affordably, the Spark EV is a peppy little golf cart to drive but some may prefer something larger. Still a good option for those whose tax refunds were a little less than anticipated...

Best Electric Cars to Spend Your Tax Refund On - Ford Focus EV Image: Ford

Ford Focus EV: Nothing wrong, just a little boring to look at is all. If you're looking for a good budget EV this might be your pick.

Electric Cars to Avoid

Mitsubishi i-Miev: It looks like an angry Pokemon character and wears out its batteries about as quickly as one too. See above for better options.

Smart ForTwo with Electric Drive: As if a traditional gasoline engine Smart For-Two wasn’t bad enough!

James HamelJames Hamel is a freelance road tester, auto journalist, and Motor Press Guild full member. Find past work at Autobytel.com and current work at iSeeCars.com. Contact James at [email protected]

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