The BMW i3, Honda Accord Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt are three of the top 10 most fuel-efficient vehicles available as of late 2014. Other vehicles on this list include the Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Cadillac ELR, BMW i8 and three versions of the Toyota Prius.
All the vehicles on this list are hybrid vehicles that combine an electric motor and battery with a conventional combustion engine, excluding purely electric vehicles such as the Telsa Model S and Volkswagen e-Golf. Several of these vehicles are also plug-in hybrids, meaning that it is possible for these cars to run on electric power alone for short distances and to recharge their batteries at an electric charging outlet. In the case of the most efficient BMW i3, the combustion engine is not even connected to the drive wheels, but merely serves to recharge the batteries of the vehicle. The engine is also an optional extra on the i3, as it is available in a purely electric version.
Modern hybrid vehicles are capable of achieving high fuel efficiency, with the BMW i3 getting an impressive 117 miles to the gallon in city driving. However, the i3 only gets 39 miles to the gallon on the highway, comparable to many conventional vehicles. Fuel efficiency for hybrid vehicles is usually better in city driving than on the highway, largely due to frequent stops that allow hybrids to recoup energy through regenerative braking.