With the ever controversial gas prices and endless debates on pollution, electric vehicles are dominating the automobile world. Not just as a remedy to the energy crisis, but as a beacon of engineering innovation. Luxury and comfort on the road also prove to be leading factors in the EV evolution. Just a month ago, the Chevrolet Bolt EV got scooped off the showroom. Tesla, as the leading EV manufacturer, intends to improvise the most wanted cars into EV models while working on an iconic electric sedan in 2017. It is an exciting moment in the automobile industry.
The U.S. has the leading number of EV consumers. Only in November 2016, 530,000 EVs and plug-in hybrids were purchased. This new craze has replaced the shaky beginnings of earlier models like Coda and Think City. All luxury outlets like Jaguar are geared towards churning out models that will compete with Model S and Model X in the electric car market. Seems like 2017 will be worth every anticipated outcome.
Though the Chevrolet Bolt has set standards and has undoubtedly paved the way for other future models, it is worth reflecting on the steady evolution of EVs to the world market. The following 10 cars and plug-in hybrids hold a track record as the best-selling EVs since 2010. The data is derived from InsideEVs.
The e-Golf was Volkswagen’s hybrid car, improvised by installing a battery inside. In the 2015 road test, it did well in a city ride but failed as a conventional family car. It took two good years for American consumers to buy a mere 8,083 units. Nevertheless, it holds Volkswagen’s place as some of the pioneers of electric cars. Volkswagen still harbors grand plans on producing more EVs.
Tesla Model X
Model X’s meteoric rise as among the best 10 electric cars is nothing short of a surprise. Just a year after its intense production process, it sold 14,562 units. That record sale made Model X a threat to other EV models at the time. The next tallying is expected to push its demand higher.
Its small size notwithstanding, the Fiat 500e surprised many when thousands of units were sold in the U.S. in 2016 alone. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the car was a money-loser but his word was lost in the vigor and appeal of the 500e the buyers found enthralling. At 17,816 units sold, the Fiat 500e mortified similar models like Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Spark EV in two states.
The BMW’s approach to EV production was slightly different. They fused both pure EV and plug-in hybrid systems into the i3. This innovative method ensured the car’s gas engine range to be nearly equal to its EV range. This gave drivers a choice: you could use the weaker gas engine and then charge when the gas runs out. 23,950 models were bought in America from May 2014 when the i3 hit the market
Ford C-Max Energi
Ford stopped making plug-in hybrids after the Focus Electric and C-Max Energi came out in 2012. The Max’s unique feature of running 19 miles on electric power before switching to gasoline made it a hot cake in the U.S. market. It ranked fifth in 2013 and remains top seven to date. So far, Ford has sold 32,220 units of C-Max.
Ford Fusion Energi
The Ford Fusion Energi offers you the luxury and comfort of any regular car; with 19 miles of electric driving to boot. A plug-in model like its sister model, the Ford Fusion struck a chord among consumers upon its release. Fusion gained momentum in 2016 when Ford revamped already existing models and old ones. Ford has sold 42,228 units since 2013.
Toyota Prius Plug-in
No longer in production, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid still retains its spot as a best-seller in EV generation. Though not hyped as the red-hot Prime, this Prius managed to sell 42,345 models within 3 years of its production. This figure is expected to go higher by the second quarter of 2018.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S has no doubt set pace in the advent of EVs. An iconic symbol of cars in its stature, it has fulfilled Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s aspiration of making EVs a part of our lives. The Tesla Model S has ensured the pulse of electric vehicles keeps pumping. It so happens to be the most expensive EV model and a guaranteed best-seller at the same time. As of November 2016 onwards, Tesla sold 85,762 units of Model S. This figure is expected to rise in the future.
The Nissan Leaf has dominated the electric car market for what seems like an eternity. Its electric power range, road performance, and cost couldn’t possibly be pitted against any other EV. It remained a favorite among first-generation EV consumers. The peak of its sale at 30,200 units 3 years ago set a pace that stands to date. The only threat would be the much anticipated Tesla’s 2016 ratings. As of now, the classic Nissan Leaf has a whopping 101,679 sales since its tires touched the road, making it the best selling electric car in the world – so far.
Even though the Chevrolet Volt is not purely electric, its range extender capability places it at the top. It has a gas engine that remains as effective as an electric system. These seemingly contrasting features have earned the Volt undue criticism; but as they say, numbers don’t lie. If anything, drivers who own the Chevy Volt use more EV range compared to the Nissan Leaf drivers, and that alone should dispel the skewed perceptions towards this EV maverick. Speaking of numbers, the Volt heralds a conquest of 109,472 sales. Bearing in mind that this is a plug-in model, the Volt holds the crown as America’s favorite electric vehicle of all time.