10 Most Popular Electric Vehicles: 3-Year Trend (2022) Report

In our 3-year study of the most popular electric vehicles, the number of EVs sold was 568,881, which accounted for over 97% of the U.S. electric vehicle market. Tesla held all three top spots with Tesla Model X, Model S, and Model 3, selling a combined 430,592 electric vehicles among these three models.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati....

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jun 17, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • Tesla occupies 74% of the U.S. electric vehicle market
  • The Chevy Bolt is the nearest Tesla competitor with 57,269 units sold
  • The 10 most popular electric vehicles combined for 568,881 units sold
  • The electric vehicle market is expected to grow 41% by 2027

most popular electric vehicles usa

Carbon dioxide. Methane. Nitrous Oxide. Hydrofluorocarbons.

If you aren’t a scientist, you might be remiss in not understanding these terms. After all, what do they have to do with our daily lives?

The truth is, quite a bit. Transportation in the United States accounts for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions. Meaning, these chemicals — which cars release — cause the earth to grow hotter. And that means trouble, both now and in the future.

As the debate over this issue continues, various car companies have begun offering alternatives to vehicles that use gasoline to function. These started as hybrids (a vehicle that used a mix between gasoline and electricity) to completely electric vehicles.

This brings us to our article today — the 10 most popular electric vehicles during a three-year study period.

These 10 most popular electric vehicles aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and some have created such hype that U.S. customers have bought hundreds of thousands of individual models.

In this article, we dive deep into the 10 most popular electric vehicles in the U.S. market, then take a look at every electric vehicle released during our study period.

We’ll also cover the best electric car companies in the world, the best electric vehicle for families, the most popular electric car in the world, and the cheapest electric car.

Many people, when purchasing an electric vehicle, have questions about how much their auto insurance will cost. Researching different auto insurance coverages can give you an idea of what coverages you need.

Comparing live auto insurance quotes is the easiest and fastest way to get the best rates once you know what coverages you need for your electric vehicle. Enter your ZIP code into our free online quote comparison tool to do just that and start saving today.

Now, to the article. From new technology to hyped, futuristic cars (and one wildly charismatic mad genius), let’s get started.

The Most Popular Electric Vehicles in America

From Kias to Teslas, here are your 10 most popular electric vehicles in 2021. Because these numbers on our electric vehicles’ list are over a three-year period, they will likely be similar for electric vehicles in 2022.

#10 – Kia Soul EV

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 3,405
  • 3-Year Market Share: 1%

Ranking No. 10 in our study of the 10 most popular vehicles, the Kia Soul EV had 3,405 sold with an average market share of less than 1% during our study period.

The Kia Soul EV was one of the initial electric vehicles to enter the U.S. market, selling in just a few states to start and then expanding. In general, it has been more popular in Europe and Asia, with thousands more models sold in those areas.

#9 – Audi e-tron

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 5,369
  • 3-Year Market Share: 1%

The Audi e-tron, a crossover hatchback, ranks 9th in our list of the 10 most popular electric vehicles in the United States. During our study period, 5,369 Audi e-tron models were sold, for an average market share around 1%.

The primary pluses of the Audi e-tron are that it can be charged within hours just using a home electric vehicle charger and that it performs better than other electric vehicles in cold weather conditions.

Because the Audi e-tron is a full-size SUV, this is a good electric vehicle for families.

#8 – Fiat 500E

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 6,218
  • 3-Year Market Share: 1%

Ranking No. 8 in this study of the 10 most popular electric vehicles in the United States, the Fiat 500E sold 6,218 models during our study period for a market share of a little more than 1%.

Italian manufacturer Fiat has updated this vehicle in recent years to include level two autonomy, advanced driver assistance systems, and a connectable smartphone app.

Because some locations require electric vehicles to make some noise when driving slowly to alert pedestrians, the new 500 plays the score of Amarcord, a legendary Italian film, when driving below 12 miles per hour.

#7 – VW e-Golf

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 9,751
  • 3-Year Market Share: 2%

The VW e-Golf ranks 7th in our list of the most popular electric vehicle cars in the United States with 9,751 models sold during our study period for an average market share of a little less than 2%.

VW is no stranger to electric cars, producing a fully electric car in the 1970s. The e-Golf model, when initially produced, had a range of around 100 miles and was a leader in the electric vehicle space, ahead of big-time names like Nissan and Telsa.

#6 – BMW i3

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 17,247
  • 3-Year Market Share: 3%

Ranking No. 6 in our list of the most popular electric vehicles in the United States, the BMW i3 initially debuted as a concept car in 2011. During our three-year study period, 17,247 models were sold in the U.S. for an average market share of a little less than 3%.

With each subsequent model, BMW has made adjustments, including adding more powerful batteries, increasing the range of its models, and offering drivers different “driving modes” which use different amounts of electricity.

The technology that has led to electric vehicles is a far departure from the internal combustion engine, which dominated car sales for over a century. Learn more in our article about how car engines work.

#5 – Nissan Leaf

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 38,310
  • 3-Year Market Share: 7%

The Nissan Leaf ranks 5th on our list of the most popular electric vehicles in the United States with 38,310 models sold during our study period for an average market share of between 6% and 7%.

The Leaf was rolled out in 2010 with an initial range of 83 miles. By implementing a larger battery pack and other improvements, the Nissan Leaf has extended its range to over 200 miles. It has garnered many awards since its conception.

#4 – Chevy Bolt

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 57,629
  • 3-Year Market Share: 10%

Ranking No. 4 on our list of the most popular electric vehicles in America, the Chevy Bolt had 57,629 models sold during our study period with an average market share of a little less than 10%.

It received numerous awards in 2017 when GM introduced it to the market. Although there have been various problems, including a 2020 recall and questions about profitability, it remains a popular model for electric car buyers.

#3 – Tesla Model X

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 67,225
  • 3-Year Market Share: 12%

The Tesla Model X ranks 3rd on our list of the most popular electric vehicles in America, with 67,225 models selling during our three-year study period for an average market share of midway between 11% and 12%.

The Model X is unusual within the EV industry in that it uses falcon-wing doors rather than traditional doors and has a high level of autonomy. The most recent Model X has an estimated driving range of 371 miles.

Tesla Motors combines electric car manufacturing with autonomous driving — an ultra-high-tech idea. But there are still pros and cons to driverless cars, including the possibility that some car systems may get hacked.

#2 – Tesla Model S

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 67,335
  • 3-Year Market Share: 12%

Ranking No. 2 in our study of the most popular electric vehicles in the United States, Tesla’s Model S had 67,335 models sold during our three-year study period for an average market share midway between 11% and 12%.

As of August 2020, it has a driving range of 402 miles, which is the best out of every electric vehicle. The Model S was the first electric vehicle to lead vehicle monthly sales in any country (Norway twice and Denmark once) and has an advanced driver assistance system that allows the car to operate without the driver.

One question people have before buying a Tesla is how much the auto insurance will cost. Jump over to our article about the Tesla Model S insurance cost to find out more.

#1 – Tesla Model 3

  • 3-Year Total Sold: 296,392
  • 3-Year Market Share: 51%

The Tesla Model 3 ranks 1st in our list of the most popular electric vehicles in America. During our three-year study period, 296,392 models were sold, giving the Model 3 an average market share of a little less than 51%.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it 5-star ratings in all crash-test categories in 2019. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it high ratings as well.

It is easily the best-selling electric car of all time and comes equipped with technological advancements for autonomous driving. A customer can choose between a standard range model (263-mile range) and a long-range model (353-mile range).

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Top 10 Electric Vehicles Compared

The 10 most popular electric vehicles show some similarities and some differences and will likely continue to be the best electric cars in 2022. All have been popular not just in the United States but globally. However, there is one company that reigns supreme.

If you remember the graphic at the top of the page, the key companies in the electric vehicle industry are the ones you’d typically see for the overall automobile industry: Nissan, Chevy, Kia, Volkswagon, and more.

But the company that leads all companies in U.S. electric vehicle sales has nothing to do with petroleum-powered vehicles and is named after a 19th-century genius: Tesla Motors. And its dominance over the electric vehicle industry has come quickly and has been massive.

Tesla has an average of around 74% of the market share during our study due to its sales of its Model X, Model S, and Model 3.

The other companies have just one model in our top 10 and none of those models has more than 10% of the market share.

This likely makes Tesla the best electric vehicle company in the world. That’s a huge amount for a company that just a few years back was not turning a profit. Since it has gone public, Tesla (and Elon Musk, its owner) has become incredibly popular.

Check out our article about the history of Tesla Motors to see just how Elon Musk and the company have revolutionized the electric vehicle industry.

Trends for All Electric Vehicles

When we searched for electric vehicle sales data, we found more data than just for the 10 most popular electric cars in the United States. The following graph shows all 20 of the electric cars our source had U.S. sales data for. It is an interactive graph.

By hovering your cursor over part of the pie graph or over an electric vehicle, you can see the number of models sold per individual model. By clicking on the market share button, you can see the market shares per model.

View as image

As already shown, Tesla dominates the electric vehicle marketplace in the United States, with no other model owning 10% or more of the marketplace. Twelve models had such little relative popularity that they owned less than 1% of the marketplace.

The Mitsubishi I EV has the dubious honor of occupying so little of the marketplace that it isn’t even listed in the market share part of the graph.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle, learn more about the different types of green vehicles in our lean, mean green machines showdown. The article covers everything from the pros to owning a “green” car to the different types companies offer.

Electric Vehicles: The Future of Automobiles

Electric cars are likely the future as companies move away from fossil-burning vehicles that contribute to global warming and cause sometimes disastrous consequences in our environment.

Some of this may not just be due to a righteous belief in eradicating global warming: Governments across the world offer car manufacturers incentives to produce electric vehicles.

These government incentives to produce electric vehicles often help offset the expensive cost of production and keep prices as low as possible for consumers.

Tesla, for many prospective automaker startups and other traditional car manufacturers, can be seen as a sign of the changing times. It not only is the best electric car company but fast eclipsing other traditional car companies in hype and status.

It is possible that we will see all-electric cars on the road in the near future with the infrastructure to travel across entire countries with just an electric car. While this depends still on lowering the entry-level market price in the electric vehicle market for consumers, the trend is in this direction.

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Interviews with Auto Experts & EV Owners

We sent out the questions and the electric vehicle thought leaders responded.

  • What are top electric vehicle manufacturers doing that others aren’t?
  • Why do you own an electric vehicle?
  • What infrastructure needs to be in place for more EV adoption?

From the founder of a cleantech start-up, a leader of a globally recognized EV newsletter, travel enthusiasts, and your regular person who just loves their electric vehicle, here are their insights, predictions, and passions for electric vehicles. Prepare to be met with some major, major enthusiasm.

experts around the world

“All signs point to the electric vehicle market completely transforming in the next five years. I think there’s also a strong argument to be made that it will even evolve a lot in the next five months.

For example, consider that until recently most EV sales have been new cars, which made it prohibitively expensive for a lot of people to choose electricity over gasoline.

That’s changing as owners trade their EVs for newer models and create a market for more affordable used cars. We discovered in our monthly EV buying guide that the Tesla Model 3 invasion of the used EV market has begun.

The used EV market could make up 40-50% of all used EV sales in the US within a few years, matching its market share in 2018 of new EV sales.

This is exciting because lower-priced Teslas will put many drivers behind the wheel of an EV for the first time. That shift alone is enough to change the way that Americans think about their transportation, which should be really exciting for electric car enthusiasts.

Last year the Boston Consulting Group projected a US market share growth of 1% per year for electric vehicles between 2021 and 2025. However, drivers themselves are projecting a steeper adoption rate.

A Consumer Reports survey revealed that 4% of US drivers say they “plan to get” an EV for their next vehicle purchase, and an additional 27% “will consider it” for their next purchase. If we consider that the average car owner replaces their vehicle every six years in this country, many of these future car purchases will happen in the next five years.”

Scott CaseScott Case is the CEO of Recurrent, a clean tech startup.
They provide buyers with vehicle reports for used electric cars.

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“Over in Europe, the trend we have observed is that vehicles that strike a balance of price range and charging infrastructure tend to dominate in terms of sales. Also important, but probably less so, is the type of vehicle, with compact cars leading the pack.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“Credibility and reliability are undoubtedly the main characteristics these OEMs have. Tesla is predominant in Europe, but nowhere near as prevalent as it is in North America. This is likely due to the population’s perception that German-made cars (or even Nordic brands, like Volvo) have better build quality and fewer quality control issues.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I own an electric Harley Davison — the Livewire. Why did I buy it? For its look and uniqueness… have you seen the thing!?”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“Stepwise improvements in fast charging technology, or even in-place battery swapping. Being able to say that an electric vehicle recharges, or that its battery will replenish as quickly as a petrol vehicle can be fueled, will certainly reduce the range anxiety for the electric vehicle skeptics.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“Fully interoperable charging points, followed by cross usage allowances by the different providers. It can be incredibly frustrating to search for the right charging station that can actually fit your vehicle, only to realize it is provided by a vendor with whom you do not have a subscription to use their service.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“More investments in the big motorcycle space. Scooters and Vespas have come along in the electric space. But big motorcycle manufacturers are way behind in developing electric-only when compared to the automobile counterparts.”

Where do you believe the electric vehicle market is headed, who will be the contenders, and what portion of drivers will own EVs?

“The market will continue to grow, charging infrastructure vendors will consolidate, charging point standards will prevail over proprietary, and government subsidies as well as regulation, will push the adoption rate to above 80% of e-vehicles on the road by 2030.”

Carlos NasilloCarlos Nasillo is the CEO of Riderly.
At Riderly you can rent a motorbike anywhere in the world.

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“There is currently a high level of concern around EV battery degradation. Geotab recently launched an EV Battery Degradation tool, which uses aggregated data collected from 6,300 EVs to offer a comparison and assessment of battery health in EVs over time.

The top finding from the data is that for most vehicles, the battery will outlast the usable life of the vehicle. The tool is publicly available for use, to support the adoption of EVs everywhere.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“The biggest misconception is how many public charging stations will be needed to support the widespread adoption of EVs. The most convenient spot to charge an EV is at the driver’s home or at work. Meanwhile, the least convenient way to charge is at a public charging station.

Current EV owners try to avoid public charging stations, which is the reason less than 15% of charging happens at public charging stations.

Though we need far less public infrastructure than people think, it is still necessary. Fast charging along corridors and city centers will become increasingly important as we try to encourage people to buy EVs that may not be able to charge at home or at work.

It is prohibitively costly in some buildings, such as older condominiums, to install the needed infrastructure to support widespread EV charging.”

Where do you believe the electric vehicle market is headed, who will be the contenders, and what portion of drivers will own EVs?

“Many people in the industry are pushing for more public service stations to happen. It has become apparent that buyers need public fast charging (50 – 350kW) to reduce common anxieties about EV range anxiety and to feel confident about purchasing an EV.

Buyers will realize that their need for public infrastructure is far less than they currently expect once they understand the convenience of charging at home or at work.

Additionally, I predict that state and federal sponsorship will phase out within the next five years. We need public policy on building codes, and we need to ensure that utilities can support the widespread adoption of EVs, but EV purchase incentives are only intended to kick start the market and overcome early stage economics.”

Charlotte ArgueCharlotte Argue is the senior manager of fleet electrification at Geotab.
She is an innovative thought leader on electric vehicles.

“Estimates of how quickly the EV market share will grow to vary wildly. But there’s one thing everyone seems to agree on: the EV market share will grow sooner or later and ultimately overtake traditional gas-powered vehicles in sales.

It all hinges on advancements in battery technology. Batteries have advanced at a relatively slow pace ever since the concept of an electric car was first dreamed up. In fact, it would appear that lithium-ion batteries will be the standard for the foreseeable future. And yet, as fuel prices rise, battery costs are steadily dropping at a rate of 6-8% every year.

Breakthroughs and developments have been happening at a faster rate than was expected in 2010 with every major auto manufacturer competing in the EV game.

The other half of the battery dilemma is the technology involved in recharging the battery. Most consumers see EVs as limited by their range-per-charge capability and their charging time. For most drivers, waiting thirty minutes or more to charge a battery after just a few hundred miles is not a feasible task.

EVs will need to make more advancements in how much power a battery can hold and how quickly it can charge to fully surpass gas vehicles.

Porsche has announced that they will roll out a supercharging solution that can fully charge an EV in just fifteen minutes. While that would still take longer than gassing up at the pump, it’s a big stride in the right direction.

EVs also tend to move in step with self-driving cars. Many consumers have expressed that if they could sit back and relax during a long road trip, they might be more inclined to put up with delays from recharging.”

Jake McKenzieJake McKenzie is the Content Manager at Auto Accessories Garage.
This family-owned business sells automotive parts and accessories.

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“They have different models with relatively cheaper prices, lowering the barrier of entry for EVs adoption. Top-selling electric vehicles have better range, over-the-air updates, autopilot, and wonderful customer reputation— and yes, I am talking about Tesla.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“Manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles saw the emerging future of electric vehicles before anybody else and built the manufacturing foundation early on.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I bought an electric vehicle because the operating and maintenance cost of a fully electric car is about less than half that of a gas-powered car. Besides this saving in costs, the advantages of tax credits made the purchase decision a no-brainer.”

If you don’t own an electric vehicle, what would entice you to buy one?

“If I don’t own an electric vehicle, personally I would be enticed to buy one by the long-term savings on my transportation budget.”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“I think the technologies that would make electric vehicles more popular include longer range, shorter charging time, more options, and more competitive prices. I also think that when prices become relatively cheaper, this will help to lower the barrier of entry towards the adoption of the electric vehicle.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“There should be charging stations in more areas and more efforts to educate the public about the benefits of owning an EV. Laws need to be passed that encourage the use of electric vehicles while discouraging consumers from buying combustion engine vehicles.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“I would like to see better range, more advanced and responsive autonomous technology, competitive prices, and more options, especially for the crossover and SUV models.”

Where do you believe the electric vehicle market is headed, who will be the contenders, and what portion of drivers will own EVs?

“I think the electric vehicle market will gain even more momentum in the next 5-10 years as people continue to adopt this new technology and as manufacturers race to produce EVs that suit every lifestyle and budget.

I can see this trend heading in the right direction. We will gradually see more electric vehicles on the road, which will force local governments to catch up by creating more regulations and providing more incentives towards the adoption of EVs.

I might be underestimating if I said that the number of drivers who own electric vehicles will grow in a linear fashion. I think there will be a significant jump in this growth line in the next 5 years.”

Ibrahim MawriIbrahim Mawri, an Electric Engineer, founded ElectricRideLab.com.
He’s passionate about leveraging technology and automation in vehicles.

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“Top-selling vehicles on the market have various unique electronic components and capabilities that others don’t.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“Top electric vehicle manufacturers, unlike others, have invested heavily in the battery cell production capacity.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I bought an electric vehicle to reduce emissions and to save money in the long run. Also, fueling with electricity comes with various advantages that conventional internal combustion engines lacked. Electric vehicles use motors that react quickly, making the cars very responsive and with very good torque.”

If you don’t own an electric vehicle, what would entice you to buy one?

“If I didn’t own an electric vehicle, several things would entice me to get one. These include the low maintenance costs, the zen driving experience, and the fact that it is the best method to reduce my carbon footprint and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“Some of the technologies to make electric vehicles more popular in the future include bidirectional charging, improved battery, enhanced production, and innovative infrastructure.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“Having more electric vehicles on our roads will mean better battery and more adoption of extensive charging infrastructure. Improving charging stations will make EVs ready for mass adoption as users will feel confident driving for long-distance trips.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“Personally, I would like to see more involvement and use of environment-friendly materials in constructing electric motor vehicles. Besides this, I would advocate for the involvement of accident prevention measures in all future EVs to curb road crashes.”

Harriet ChanHarriet Chan is the co-founder of CocoFinder.com.
CocoFinder is a public information search engine.

“The technology in battery-electric-vehicles (BEV) is quite advanced.

New features which may make EVs more enticing include Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication that allows vehicles to platoon with one another to improve range, self-driving technology advancements that have additional safety redundancies built-in, and possibly solid-state batteries that companies like Volkswagen have hinted at bringing to the market.

The top-selling electric vehicles offer the best value to the car owner. Manufacturers that continuously update a car owner’s experience are gaining loyal customers whether those updates are from easter egg downloads via Over-the-Air updates or new software updates.

Car manufacturers that are just releasing electric vehicles without the connection with the car owner are not going to gain as many users compared to those that do.

By creating a community of loyal followers, manufacturers are able to get instant feedback on the good and the bad. Traditionally, manufacturers have not been as responsive as Tesla and they are now building the platforms to have a more engaged customer experience. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, the EV market will be greater than 25% of the market.

The recent news that the Biden Administration is pushing for an EV future and government support will help bring this to reality sooner than we expect.

Some new features may not be what consumers are expecting, but as cars become connected, government agencies will be looking at new ways to tax driving (possibly per mile, or per watt), new insurance models that incentivize clean driving, as well as new ways to value EVs.”

Faheem GillFaheem Gill is the Co-Founder of Keemut.com, a vehicle valuation company.
He is an automotive executive, inventor, and mobility speaker.

“Last year we bought a 2017 Tesla X and we absolutely love it. We decided to purchase it to reduce our carbon footprint and it’s a really cool-looking car that not many people have yet.

This car is feature-rich. It has a large screen that is great for navigation, and it also converts to a scribble pad if you need to jot down a name or number quickly. It has 2 trunks, on front and one rear. Several safety features include an alert when the car in front of you is stopping fast, automatic lane control, and blind-spot monitoring.

The car also drives itself on well-marked roads but we haven’t tried that yet!

Our car can go about 250 miles before it needs a charge. For electric cars to increase in popularity, superchargers need to be more readily available. The problem for us is there aren’t very many available in the southeast yet.

On a regular 110 power connection, it only charges 2-4 miles per hour and on a 220 connection, about 35 miles per hour. So, from a road trip perspective, it’s not practical.

I believe we will see a significant increase in electric cars in the next 5-10 years. Increasing the battery life coupled with more super fast-charging stations will increase their popularity.

Additionally, large companies like Amazon are committing to reduce or eliminate their carbon footprint by deploying electric vehicles. This will trickle down to smaller companies with fleet vehicles and down to individuals as well. As this new technology proves itself over time, more people will become comfortable with investing in the next generation of cars.”

Stephanie PraterStephanie Prater is the creator of the home and travel site, LuxandLaundry.com.
She is an avid roadtripper who purchased her first EV a few months ago.

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“The top-selling EVs today all have over 150 miles of range, generally look and operate like a traditional ICE vehicle, and are from big established automakers (with Tesla being the exception to that final point).

The transition to EVs has been slow and evolutionary, but the next few years will see more ground-up EVs that truly showcase the benefits of the drivetrain and layout possibilities.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“Manufacturers of top-selling EVs have gotten widespread distribution and had great marketing and PR people. They have also offered up amazing lease deals.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I currently lease a Hyundai Ioniq EV. It is a great around town and as a commuter car. It is also extremely inexpensive to ‘own and operate.’”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“Next-gen battery tech will allow for longer range and quicker easier recharging. Combined with more charging infrastructure around the country, EVs will be much more appealing to a wider audience very soon.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“Fast charging infrastructure needs to be available anywhere people spend their time when away from home: restaurants, shopping centers, and work-places specifically.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“New shapes and sizes of vehicles that cater to specific lifestyles, like van-lifers, are the future of EVs. Think of things like an autonomous EV that has room for four to have a business meeting while on the way to see a client.”

Where do you believe the electric vehicle market is headed, who will be the contenders in 5-10 years, what portion of drivers will own electric vehicles, and any other detail that you see coming?

“The future is still unknown, but for the next 10-30 years EVs are the way forward for personal transportation and most public transportation. The big automakers that already know how to make quality vehicles will be the first to succeed and very few upstarts will make it happen as it costs too much to meet regulations and scale manufacturing.”

Bryon DorrBryon Dorr is the Editor-in-Chief at AutoWise.
He has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years.

“I have owned my Tesla Model S for over 7 years and still LOVE IT! It was such a game-changer when I bought it and it is still a head-turner these days. I enjoy promoting the brand and talking about the technology that makes it possible.”

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“I feel that Tesla, has that ‘cool factor’ that the other manufactures just don’t have. I mean, how many electric cars are currently in orbit? I am not much of a car guy, but I am a techie and the model S is all tech!

They have been leading the industry with technology and usefulness by developing their own charging grid. I read somewhere that they invited other manufactures to join forces in building the charging grid but were turned down, so now only Tesla’s can charge on their over 1,500 locations.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“Tesla has done a great job building the infrastructure around the country so you can drive anywhere you want without worrying about where to charge up. In addition, they keep improving the technology and the infrastructure.”

I believe it was around 2003 when GM destroyed their EV1 electric car. It was the first production electric car and it went 50 miles on a charge. In the documentary ‘Who killed the electric car,’ GM stated that no one wanted electric cars. In 2003, from the ashes of GM’s EV1, Tesla was born and proved there was a high demand for electric cars.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I am sucker for green technologies and love the fact that private companies are investing in these technologies. I bought my car because it reminded me of a laptop on wheels, with all of the bells and whistles to go with it. It was also a great-looking car with the speed to make it cool and I just had to have one.”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“The key to a successful electric vehicle is range. When Tesla came out with a car that could go over 200 miles on a charge, that made a lot of people think twice about electric cars. The newer models go almost 400 miles. The better the range, the more people will buy it. I know battery technology is only getting better and better.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“Fully autonomous driving perfected! How great would it be to tell your car to take you home after a long day and take a power nap on the ride home? How about sending it to go pick up your kids? Or go pick up dinner? The future looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what they will put out next!”

Rich KahnRich Kahn is a digital marketing expert with over 28 years of experience.
He is the CEO of Anura.io, which provides ad-fraud mitigation.

“I currently own a Toyota C-HR Hybrid and it drives like an absolute dream. Like most hybrids, it charges the electric battery every time you brake. While it isn’t fully electric, this charging ability lets it reduce my carbon footprint.

I have to say, I love the car. It’s so quiet, and it feels like it glides over the road. I really wanted an electric vehicle for 3 reasons:

  1. I care about the environment.
  2. I live in a city, where exhaust fumes can be a big problem.
  3. The current UK administration has set very aggressive green targets, especially around vehicles.

Access to charging points for electric vehicles is still a barrier to entry however. Unless you can afford to have a charging point installed at your house, which requires a lot of effort, paperwork, money, administration, and approval from your local council, your options are limited.

Charging points are not hard to find, but they do require you to drive somewhere, then sit around and wait until your car has charged sufficiently, which can be time-consuming.

For this reason, getting a hybrid car just seemed the better option. If I could have a charge point right outside my house that I could access at any point during the day/week, I would certainly be more willing to switch to a purely electric vehicle.

On the plus side, many motorway stops for food or petrol now have charge points for electric vehicles, so any concern anyone might have about driving long distances should be alleviated.”

Lynette KearneyLynette Kearney is the editor of Bedtime Specialist.
She is the proud owner of a Toyota C-HR Hybrid SUV.

“Climate action and affordable clean energy form part of the sustainable development goals that drive vehicle manufacturing companies to develop technologies that promote environmental protection and energy conservation.

The manufacture of electric vehicles (EV) has considerably accelerated and with more environmental awareness, EV companies are experiencing more sales than previous years. Many manufacturing heavy hitters such as Volkswagen (VW), BMW, Porsche, and Tesla are pushing the envelope with exciting new models available in the market currently.

Top-selling electric vehicles are manufactured to produce top-tier performance, display elegant designs, and incorporate the latest technologies that make driving easier and more fun.

Electric vehicles have incredible acceleration and handling that match and in some instances surpass the regular gas cars in terms of performance.

An example is the higher range of the Tesla Model S P100D, which goes from 0-62 mph in less than 2.5 secs, and the lower range 75D, which has the same performance in 4.2 secs.

Technologies such as adaptive cruise control and crash avoidance systems, including auto-braking and lane-keeping assist, have been incorporated in the latest electric models to elevate the driving experience for electric vehicle enthusiasts.

Another example of how manufacturers go the extra mile is that Tesla has established over 10,000 stations worldwide, which greatly improves access to high-speed chargers (superchargers) that top-up in minutes.

Most of the leading industry companies have understood the importance of coordinating with the government, research institutions, and other relevant stakeholders to increase electric vehicle adoption.

A factor that I would consider when deciding on electric versus gas cars is emissions. Fully electric vehicles do not use an exhaust system,and therefore no fumes are released into the atmosphere. This can help achieve cleaner air and less emission of greenhouse gasses.

I would prefer to own an electric vehicle because it is cheaper to run and cheaper to maintain. There is no use of gas so it saves you money and only monthly inspections are required instead of the costly regular servicing for maintenance.

I would also go for an electric car because of how it is quiet when driving. The VW e-golf has a feature (artificial engine sound) that adds engine noise to alert passengers of an oncoming vehicle.

A technology that is set to revolutionize and transform the electric vehicle in terms of performance is the introduction of solid-state batteries.

Traditionally, electric vehicles use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries such as the Tesla 18650 cell (giant battery pack) used in the Model S with a 350-mile range.

One of the benefits that will come along with this great technology is greater energy density. This means two or more times the current range. Another benefit will be that of fast charging. The normal 80% charge in 15 minutes will be phased out.

Solid-state batteries will also have a longer life and thermal stability than Li-ion batteries which are fire hazards.

Governments, in coordination with relevant key stakeholders, are responsible for setting up infrastructures that will stimulate the adoption of EVs.

Several countries have set up initiatives: for example, in the UK there are plug-in vehicle subsidies. Japan and China have also initiated green vehicle purchasing promotion measures.

Other infrastructures that would be beneficial include special highway lanes such as HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes, which would encourage more people to make the switch from gas cars to electric cars.

The government and other relevant institutional support and also technological advancements have made the future for EVs very bright.

Up to 17 countries currently have announced 100% zero-emission targets by 2050. France and the UK aim to ban the sale of combustion vehicles by 2040.

2020 EVs global passenger vehicle sales will reach 10% by 2025 according to a prominent publication. That figure will rise by 28% in 2030 and 58% in 2040.

Partnerships are also producing groundbreaking technologies. Volkswagen’s partnership with QuantumScape will lead to the production of solid-state batteries that will be used in VW EVs in 2024.

General Motors (GM) plans to produce a solid-state million-mile life battery that will be affordable and will reduce concerns about dozens of electric vehicle batteries that will require recycling.

Samsung also has a battery design that will allow it to be discharged and recharged up to 1000 times, meaning that one battery pack can be assigned to more than one car in its lifetime, which will have interesting effects on the overall economics of the future electric cars.”

Abby HauAbby Hau is the head of marketing for WellPCB.
WellPCB specializes in circuit boards and assembly services.

What do the top-selling electric vehicles on the market have that others don’t?

“The clear winners right now are the electric cars that were built to be electric from the start: The hits like Tesla’s vehicles and VW ID.3, Ford Mach-E, Porsche Taycan and the ‘pioneers’ like Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt and Renault Zoe. None of these models were fossil-fueled and then converted.

These cars are not just the ‘Let’s put a battery and electric motor to our existing mode’ method that Peugeot e-2008 and the Hyundai Kona have done. Don’t get me wrong, those EVs are great cars too, but. . .you’ve got to build a car to be EV from the start to get it right. And the industry has realized that.”

What have the manufacturers of top-selling electric vehicles done that others haven’t?

“When building the car from the ground up, the process is inevitably innovative—and that makes a difference. We’ve seen a lot of new features and adaptations that have come to the auto market just from the innovation of the EV manufacturers.

Another reason is the ‘cool factor’. If you’re just making an existing model electric, it’s nothing special. If you’ve got an electric car that’s meant to be electric from the start and is faster, more dynamic, and cooler-looking because of it, you’ve got a winner. That’s what most people are after when switching to EV.”

If you own an electric vehicle, why did you buy it?

“I got my Nissan LEAF after driving EVs around as a taxi driver when I first started at the taxi company, during my studies. Later when I moved up in the ladder (all the way up to the CEO position in 4 years), I got to know the cars inside and out. And I love what I saw and felt.

That’s the reason when I sell the used electric cars, the first thing I do with buyers is to put them behind the wheel. You can’t beat the feeling of driving an electric car for the first time—it’s just exhilarating.

Now, as I’m researching about EVs every single day for the EV Universe newsletter, diving deep, I can’t be more sure it’s the right direction we’re moving in.”

What technologies would make electric vehicles more popular?

“There aren’t really any technologies the EVs are missing, compared to the fossil fuel cars. If anything, most EV’s feel like they are an upgrade, a new level of vehicles.

The technology today is already so much better than a decade ago when the current EV movement began. All the range/charging problems have disappeared with the advancement of technologies in new cars.

Here’s an example: a 2012 and a 2020 Nissan LEAF used to cost pretty much the same when they came out. But the technology has improved the range of the car from about 62 miles per charge to 200 miles per charge (24kWh to 62kWh battery).

That improvement in the Nissan LEAF driving range is more than 3x without raising the price of the car. Not to mention the improvement of the car itself.

The average range of EVs nowadays is even higher than the said 200 miles and it’s only getting better. The sticker prices might be the only thing stopping the EV adoption, but as the battery technology improves, the prices come down too. Lots of R&D is going on right now.”

What infrastructure needs to be built for more widespread electric vehicle adoption?

“Most say the fast-charging infrastructure. I disagree. The fast-charging infra is already improving at an exponential rate and thus will cover the needs of most EV users soon. We’ve gotten past the chicken-and-egg problem with EVs and fast chargers.

The real problem in more wide-spread EV adoption is residential charging. Those without a private driveway/garage aren’t usually able to charge their car, which leads to less EV adoption.

It’s hard to own an EV when relying solely on the fast-charging network. It’s possible, but usually inconvenient. There is different legislation being passed globally right now that is setting the rules for EV charging space developments on new buildings, which will help.

We’ve also got companies that are already tackling the problem of home-charging in these areas, but there’s also a lot of room for improvement. I see this as a big bottleneck we need to overcome for the mass adoption of EVs.”

What would you like to see personally in the development of electric vehicles in the future?

“I’m already seeing the future and I like it. Since it’s my full-time job to be in the know of everything happening in the industry, I’m seeing a massive momentum starting.

This move that we are witnessing—it’s exponential. It’s something that will probably happen only once in our lifetime. Within a few decades, a massive shift of the automotive (and energy) industry will happen, and it will be better for the world! I’ve got this real feeling of “can’t stop us now”!

Where do you believe the electric vehicle market is headed, who will be the contenders, and what portion of drivers will own EVs?

“It’s quite clear where the EV market is headed—it’s going to dominate. The fossil-fueled cars will be phased out.

The EV-Only Future

It’ll happen over time, as the global car stock is just too big to change all at once and EVs are still a very small part of it — EVs make up something between 1 and 2% of the global car stock today.

If you take into account the commitments the different countries and automakers have made about renouncing fossil cars, the picture looks quite bright.”

Jaan JuurikasJaan Juurikas is the founder of The EV Universe.
The EV Universe is a weekly electric vehicle industry newsletter.

Electric Vehicles Ranked by Sales & Market Share

If you’re curious about all the electric cars released in the United States and how many units were sold during our three-year study period, then take a look at the table below. It covers all 20 of the electric vehicles we surveyed along with their total units sold and average market share per the three-year study period.

Electric Vehicles Units Sold & Avg. Market Share [3-Years]
RankMake/ModelModels SoldMarket Share
1Tesla Model 3296,39250.65%
2Tesla Model S67,33511.51%
3Tesla Model X67,22511.49%
4Chevy Bolt57,6299.85%
5Nissan Leaf38,3106.55%
6BMW i317,2472.95%
7VW e-Golf9,7511.67%
8Fiat 500E6,2181.06%
9Audi e-tron5,3690.92%
10Kia Soul EV3,4050.58%
11Jaguar I-Pace2,9870.51%
12Honda Clarity BEV2,8160.48%
13Smart ED2,4430.42%
14Ford Focus EV2,3770.41%
15Hyundai Kona Electric1,7210.29%
16Kia Niro EV1,5620.27%
17Hyundai Ioniq EV1,5160.26%
18Mercedes B-Class (B250e)8880.15%
19Chevy Spark300.01%
20Mitsubishi I EV60.00%
TotalAll Makes/Models585,227100.00%
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As we’ve covered, Tesla Motors dominates the electric vehicle market in America. No other model from another company reaches a 10% average market share for the three-year period.

Frequently Asked Questions: EV Cost, Benefits, & Predictions

Now that we’ve gone over the 10 most popular electric vehicles in the U.S. market, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • What is the world’s best-selling electric car?
  • What country has the most electric cars?
  • What is the cheapest electric car?

And much, much more. Scroll down for the answers to your burning questions about electric vehicles and which is best electric car to buy based on market trends.

#1 – What is the world’s best-selling electric car?

Wondering what is the most popular or number one electric vehicle? The Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling electric car in the world with over 365,000 units sold in 2020, well over 200,000 more than its nearest competitor. The model has a 12% market share worldwide and is one of the best electric vehicles in 2021 as far as popularity.

#2 – Why are electric cars bad?

For the consumer, electric cars can be bad from a few aspects. The first is that gas-powered cars generally have a wide range of travel, meaning you can go farther in a gas-powered car without a fill-up.

The lack of EVs having trouble with wide driving distances is also troublesome from the standpoint of infrastructure. Many places do not have the infrastructure to support using electric cars for long trips.

Electric cars also need to be recharged, which can cost the electric car owner time and money.

#3 – What country has the most electric cars?

Norway has the highest percentage of electric cars with 75% of all cars on the road in Norway electric. The other Scandinavian countries are also leaders with 45% of the cars in Iceland being electric and 32% of the cars in Sweden the same.

#4 – What percentage of cars will be electric by 2030?

While the estimate varies, some publications believe that over a quarter (28%) of all new car sales in 2030 will be for electric cars. You may start seeing more brands producing electric cars, such as Toyota electric cars.

#5 – Which is the cheapest electric car?

The Renault Twizy, a two-person four-wheel car, is considered the cheapest electric car with a starting price tag of $9,700. It has an unusual type of design for a modern vehicle, but one you might find familiar in the craziest car designs in history.

#6 – Can you jump-start an electric car?

Yes, you can jump-start an electric car if you were to lose complete battery power during a trip. However, you cannot use another electric car to jump-start yours as electric vehicles generally do not have the power to completely jump-start another vehicle.

#7 – What happens to electric car batteries at end of life?

Generally, when electric car batteries reach their end of life stage, they are either repurposed for other applications or broken down to recycle their parts.

#8 – Are electric cars dangerous to your health?

Because electric cars often create electromagnetic fields, it is possible that they could be dangerous to your health. People have blamed electromagnetic fields for everything from headaches to cancer. This means that although you may reduce your carbon emissions, you still might suffer negative health effects down the road.

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Methodology: Determining the 10 Most Popular Electric Vehicles

To create our three-year study of the 10 most popular electric vehicles in the United States, our researchers searched high and wide for any data relating to the most recent electric vehicle sales data in the U.S.

The data used here came from the Alternative Fuels Data Center, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. Our experts looked at the most recent data from that source: 2017-2019. The data was last updated in January 2020.

The measurement was not in total sales but in models sold. From there, our researchers calculated three-year totals for every electric vehicle sold in America during that time period, as well as the average market share for each model.

If you drive an electric vehicle, you know that saving on auto insurance rates is important. Auto insurance companies often give electric vehicle owners higher rates because of the prices of parts in an electric car are often more expensive than those in a gas-powered car.

Whether you have an electric or gas car, plug your ZIP code into our free online tool to discover the best rates in your area personalized for your insurance needs.

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Electric Vehicles Models Sold
Electric Vehicles Models Sold