The Tesla Model S, the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 are three environmentally safer cars than standard gasoline engine models as of 2015. Although the Model S and the i3 only have electric engines, the i8 is a hybrid vehicle.
A large luxury sedan, the Tesla Model S emits no carbon dioxide at all. An all-electric engine with a single moving part powers the vehicle. The most powerful model, the P85D, has a maximum range of 253 miles on a full battery. With 532 horsepower and 713 pounds-feet torque in Ludicrous mode, the car can accelerate from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds.
BMW i3 is a compact hatchback that also emits no carbon dioxide. The car has an all-electric engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. The i3 can accelerate from zero to 60 in 7.2 seconds and has a range of 118 miles on a full battery.
With electric and gasoline engines working together under its hood, the i8 emits 49 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. However, the driver can choose only to use the electric engine to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. This also reduces the maximum range from 273 miles to only 15 miles. With both engines on, the car accelerates from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 250 mph.
Because they all have electric engines, the impact these three cars have on the environment also depends heavily on where the driver lives. If the driver lives in a state that uses fossil fuels or nuclear power to generate electricity, the cars cause indirect harm to the environment. Research your state's electricity production methods before deciding to purchase an electric vehicle.