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Published on February 12th, 2020 | by Johnna Crider


Top U.S. Electric Vehicles — 2019 vs. 2018 Best Sellers

February 12th, 2020 by  

Top U.S. electric vehicle sales of 2019 and 2018 reflect some slight but notable changes, and could show a glimpse into what 2020 looks like for some of these automakers. Top EV sellers of 2019 in the U.S. came from brands such as Tesla, Nissan, Chevy. Last year was a decent year for EV sales. But the market is currently driven by one brand and especially one model.

Tesla accounted for 78% of US EV sales in 2019. The Model 3 accounted for 65% of sales all by itself. Besides Tesla, other top sellers were Chevy and Nissan, but as you can see, their sales were minuscule compared to Tesla’s. Chevy sold 16,418 units of its Bolt EV, and Nissan sold 12,365 units of its LEAF in 2019. Audi sold just under 5,400 units of its new e-tron SUV.

Tesla was also the top-selling brand for 2018, with the Tesla Model 3 dominating sales. Aside from Tesla’s models, the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF were again the other top sellers — just way below the Model 3. It seems that Tesla, Chevy, and Nissan are the go-to companies for EVs for the vast majority of American consumers.

Benefits of driving electric vehicles include the potential to save money on both fuel and maintaining the vehicle, convenient home charging (no more gas stations), the fun of instant torque, reduced emissions, and in the case of Tesla, all the Autopilot and infotainment features packed into the car. There are no oil changes, there’s no need to replace the alternator, you can charge using home or public charging stations or just using a normal electricity outlet (the latter is just slower). There are also political benefits to going electric, and EVs help reduces the threat of being vulnerable to gas price spikes and supply disruptions.

There are a lot of reasons to go electric. It’s still a small percentage of car buyers who do so in the U.S. But the market is growing and another blockbuster EV is coming out this year — the Tesla Model Y. We’ll see how it does.

As we’ve reported previously, from our own surveys of thousands of EV drivers, the largest number plan to buy a Model 3 or Model Y next, but many others plan to buy a Chevy Bolt, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV, or Nissan LEAF. (Note: The data was collected before the Tesla Cybertruck was shown to the world.)

This “EV Drivers” chart cover the responses of non-Tesla fully electric vehicle owners. Responses from Tesla owners are shown in another chart further down.

This “PHEV Drivers” chart and all future “PHEV Drivers” charts cover the responses of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners.

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About the Author

is a Baton Rouge artist, gem, and mineral collector, member of the International Gem Society, and a Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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