The top 5 most popular electric cars in the US

Battery-powered cars aren't going away. Take a look at the favorites as of July 2018.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
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Brian Cooley
3 min read

It's mid-2018 and we can now safely say that pure electric cars are a real market, albeit a real small market. The best-selling models not only claim critical share for their makers but also tell an interesting story about the market in general. Here are the top 5 best selling pure electrics in the US as of July 2018, ranked according to numbers from InsideEVs.  

Watch this: Top 5 most popular electric cars

5. Nissan Leaf: 7,808 sold
The Leaf used to run this table, but by the end of its first generation it was known mostly for goofy looks, short range and rotten residuals. Nissan completely rebooted the car for 2018 with good looks, great tech and much improved range but it still only attains the number five rung as the Tesla Model 3 throws shade all over the market. It doesn't help that the Leaf has about 150 miles of range in a world where 200+ is becoming the benchmark. Yes, the Leaf costs the least of any car on the list, but being unable to make your trip on a charge is a premium of its own sort.

4. Chevrolet Bolt: 9,033 sold
The sole Detroit car on our list, the Bolt has cooled from being number two on lists like these, but don't misread that trend line. The other shoe will drop in late 2018 when GM expands Bolt production capacity and we'll get a true picture of how well this car can sell, especially as Tesla starts to phase out of federal tax credits while GM cars qualify for them longer.

3. Tesla Model X: 10,850 sold
In a country obsessed with crossovers and SUVs, Tesla's version is their sales runt: Some speculate that the Model X suffers from consumers flocking to the Model 3, others believe it suffers from Tesla workers flocking to the Model 3 assembly line. Either way, the Model X makes Tesla that odd car company for whom a crossover is not the brand's rock star at a time when Jaguar I-Pace, Porsche Taycan and Mercedes EQC are aiming to be exactly that.

2. Tesla Model S: 12,020 sold
Long the king of the hill on lists like this, the Model S has been severely dethroned, but remember that the Model S has sold nearly as many units as all three German flagship sedans so far this year. That may be apples to oranges in terms of powertrain, but it's apples to apples when it comes to luring the most desirable buyers.

1. Tesla Model 3: 38,082 sold
We're in a Tesla echo chamber at this point, but the Model 3 is a testament to the company's story beyond the hype, smoke and distraction of an increasingly eccentric Elon Musk. The Model 3 is the first electric car to sell in give-figure volume in a month (14,250 in July 2018) and it has already sold as many copies as the Model S and Nissan Leaf in 2017 combined. Add in the fact that it is the car that will make or break the company in the near future and you see where to focus your attention.