2013 Models: How the New Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric Compare

As the new year rolls on, new car models are beginning to roll out with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric at the top of our list. With extended range, better mileage and in the LEAF’s case a crazy price reduction, exciting things are happening in the electric car world. When considering these three EV’s, mull the facts over:

2013 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Boasting several more MPGe (electric equivalent of miles per gallon of gasoline) than the other two, the i-MiEV gets 112 combined, 126 city and 99 highway MPGe. Plus, it’s what cute-car-conscious people would call “adorable.” Known for looking cartoonish if not egg-shaped, the i-MiEV is for the environmentally friendly and the 2013 model doesn’t disappoint. It has an electric range of 62 miles and takes seven hours same as the LEAF to charge at 240 volts. Pricing for the 2013 model is not yet available, though whatever the cost is you’ll make up for it by frequenting the fuel pump less often. The EPA estimates that the annual fuel cost of driving a 2013 i-MiEV is $550 (based on 15,000 miles annual driving and an electricity cost of $0.12/kWh). The 2012 MSRP base price was $29,125, and that’s before any incentives.

2013 Nissan LEAF S

Announced in mid January and expected to join Nissan dealers and show rooms in February, the Nissan LEAF was recently unveiled as an updated car with an updated price. The company slashed the price of the LEAF S by $6,000, bringing its MSRP down to $28,800. The cut awards the LEAF the highly-sought-after title of least expensive five-passenger electric car sold in the U.S. Price changes were made after the car’s production process was moved to Smyrna, Tenn. from Japan, and also because of popular demand. While consumers are anxious to utilize the green technology, not all were willing to pay the high sticker price of the past years’ models. Not only is the 2013 model cheaper than previous models, but after federal and state tax incentives, some consumers may be calling the new LEAF theirs for only $18,800, according to NissanNews.com.

Because of aerodynamics improvements, the new LEAF should have improved driving range, but the official EPA numbers aren’t available yet. The 2012 LEAF S had a 73-mile driving range and fully recharged in seven hours at 240 volts.

2013 Nissan LEAF

2013 Ford Focus Electric

Compared to the other two, the Ford Focus Electric takes the cake in range and charging time, traveling 76 miles on an electric charge and taking only four hours to go from empty to full at 240 volts. This Aston Martin Cygnet look-alike proves Ford isn’t giving up on its feat to join and conquer the electric car world. The Focus Electric gets 105 combined MPGe (110 city, 99 highway), according to the EPA. The government agency also estimates that it costs 96 cents to drive 25 miles in a Focus Electric. It looks the least like an electric car of the bunch mainly because Ford took an existing car, the Focus hatchback compact car, and turned it into an electric one. It’s built on the same assembly line as the gasoline powered Focus in Wayne, Mich., which allows the automakers the option of increasing and decreasing its production on demand, according to Hybridcars.com. Starting price rings in at $39,200, but that’s before applying potential government and state tax credits.

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