What works: Electric vehicles include all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrid vehicles. An all-electric vehicle uses batteries to store energy, which powers one or more motors, according to the 2013 vehicle buyer guide.
Electric vehicles have gotten the most buzz in the last two years, with virtually every major car manufacturer. As of February 2013, there were more than 5,900 publicly accessible charging locations, with at least one in each of the contiguous United States.
Rice said electric vehicles are being adopted predominately on the light duty, or regular everyday car side. All-electric vehicles get better gas mileage, with the Honda Fit EV getting 132 gas equivalent miles to the gallon in the city, according to the 2013 vehicle buyer guide.
Maryland also offers two tax credits for electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles. An income tax credit up to 20 percent of the qualified electric vehicle's cost and a $2,000 credit against the imposed excise tax both are made to motivate buyers. There is also an exemption that allows plug-in electric vehicles to use the HOV lane regardless of the number of occupants.
What doesn't: While electric cars don't produce tailpipe emissions, there are carbon emissions associated with producing the electricity, depending on where a consumer is located, Jacoby said. If an area produces electricity from coal, it's not saving carbon emissions to power a car with electricity, he said.
Electric vehicles are more expensive than their gasoline counterparts. A new all-electric Ford Focus starts at $39,200, according to the 2013 vehicle buyer guide.