With issues like the environment, dependance on foreign oil, and gas prices on the forefront of people’s minds, electric vehicles are more popular than ever. Some of these cars, like Teslas, run entirely on battery power. Others, like the ever-popular Prius, are hybrids and depend on both their battery and traditional gasoline. So which kind of environmentally friendly cars do Americans prefer?
To find out, we consulted recent research conducted by InsideEVs and Statista, who collectively ranked the most popular electric vehicles (including hybrids) by the number of sales in the United States in 2018. Keep scrolling for the 10 most popular electric cars in America.
1. Tesla Model 3
Starting Price: From $35,000
With its reasonable starting price of $35,000, it’s no wonder that the Tesla Model 3 is far and away the most popular electric car in America. According to Tesla, more than 198,700 Model 3s were sold as of March 2019 — over 171,000 more than the next most popular electric car! Of those nearly 200,000 cars, about 140,000 were sold in the U.S. Needless to say, there is a lot to like about this luxury four-door sedan. Each Model 3 is equipped with full self-driving hardware which will be optionally available in the near future. As of now, the car boasts:
- an all-electric range of either 220 miles (Standard Range) and 325 miles (Long Range)
- a regenerative braking system
- an optional tow bar with an incredible towing capacity of a 2,000 pounds
The Tesla Model 3 is also safe, and after extensive crash testing was given five stars in every category by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2. Toyota Prius Prime
Starting Price: $27,600
The Prime is the second generation of the popular Toyota Prius plug-in hybrids, and so far, has continued Toyota’s success in the electric market. According to InsideEVs and Statista, an estimated 27,595 were sold in the United States in 2018, making it the second most popular electric vehicle in the country. In all-electric mode, the Prime is capable of getting 25 miles, while its full range with a full tank of gas is an impressive 640 miles. Interestingly, the Prime has a four-seat cabin layout, as Toyota found that five seats ultimately reduced the efficiency of the car. In Japan, where this car is assembled, the Prime is known as the Prius PHV.
3. Tesla Model X
Starting Price: $81,000
Undoubtedly, the hefty starting price of $81,000 is a big reason as to why the Tesla Model X hasn’t sold as many units as the aforementioned Tesla Model 3. Still, at least 26,100 Americans have purchased this luxury crossover SUV. As expected, the Model X is packed with features, including a panoramic windshield, double-hinged falcon wing doors, and an official EPA-rated range of 250-325 miles. According to Elon Musk, the Tesla Model X is also the safest SUV of any on the market.
4. Tesla Model S
Starting Price: $75,000
The Model S is Tesla’s all-electric luxury five-door liftback. The Tesla Model S is actually the second-best selling plug-in electric car in the world (but was first in 2015 and 2016), though it ranks fourth for U.S. sales. It sold an estimated 25,745 units in 2018. According to Tesla, the Model S has an impressive EPA range of 370 miles, higher than that of any other electric car on the market. And of course, it’s packed with cool features, including:
- optional Autopilot
- a crystal-clear electronic instrument panel
- an optional third row with rear-facing seats and five-point harnesses for children.
5. Honda Clarity
Starting Price: $33,400
Honda’s popular plug-in hybrid is the Honda Clarity. First launched in the United States on December 1, 2017, the Clarity quickly became the country’s 5th best-selling electric car. In 2018, an estimated 18,602 Clarities were sold, according to InsideEVs. Not surprisingly, there is a lot to like about the Honda Clarity. Perhaps most notably, the plug-in hybrid boasts an EPA-rated all-electric range of 47 miles, and a total combined range of 340 miles.
6. Chevrolet Volt
Starting Price: $33,520
Though production of the Chevrolet Volt ceased in February 2019, this plug-in hybrid was still the 6th best-selling electric car of 2018. According to InsideEVs, Americans bought 18,306 Volts last year. The 2019 Volt has a battery-only range of 53 miles and a total combined range of 420 miles. Fun fact: President Barack Obama famously drove a Chevrolet Volt during his tour of the General Motors plant in Michigan.
7. Chevrolet Bolt EV
Starting Price: $36,620
Fortunately, Chevy is holding onto the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which sold 18,019 units to become the 7th most popular electric vehicle of 2018. This five-door, front-motor, all-electric hatchback boasts an EPA all-electric range of 238 miles, and an MPGe rating of 119 miles. Apparently, buyers aren’t the only ones who like the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The car was named by Time Magazine as one of the “Best 25 Inventions of 2016,” the year production on the car first began. Since then, the Bolt has been named Motor Trend’s 2017 Car of the Year, the 2017 North American Car of the Year, and a “2017 All-Star” by Automobile Magazine.
8. Nissan Leaf
Starting Price: $29,990
In the nine years since its inception, the Nissan Leaf’s global sales have exceeded 400,000. This makes the Leaf the best selling electric car in history! Though the Leaf was the United States’ 8th most popular electric vehicle in 2018 — selling 14,715 units — North America historically remains the car’s largest market. With an EPA range of 151 miles on a full battery charge, it’s easy to see why the Leaf is so popular. In 2010, the year the Leaf was first produced, it was awarded the Green Car Vision Award, followed in 2011 by the awards for European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year.
9. BMW 530e iPerformance
Starting Price: $52,650
BMW’s luxurious 5 Series includes the 530e iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid variant. The sedan, which sold 8,664 units in 2018 to become America’s 9th most popular electric vehicle, offers an all-electric range of 16 miles, as estimated by the EPA. And as with any Bimmer, the 530e is packed with luxury. This beautiful car features the latest form of BMW iDrive, gesture control for the volume, and Bluetooth-enabled Apple CarPlay.
10. Ford Fusion Energi
Starting Price: $37,000
Ford’s Fusion Energi has been a popular plug-in hybrid since sales first began in 2013. With just over 8,000 sales in 2018, it was America’s 10th most popular car of its kind. The current model of the Fusion Energi has an EPA rating of 21 miles with a fully charged battery. Its roomy cabin is appealing to families looking for a comfortable midsize sedan, while its top-of-the-line safety rating is also valued.