Demand for EVs is at an All-Time High
Semiconductor shortages, high prices, and a generally tough car market aren’t deterring drivers who want to go electric. While the U.S. car market shrunk overall in the first half of 2022, sales of electric cars kept rising, according to industry publication Automotive News. Electric vehicles now account for about five percent of the light vehicle market – a significant year-over-year gain.
What are the Best-Selling Electric Cars?
Tesla, the longest-established pure electric brand, leads EV sales in the U.S. Tesla’s lineup of EVs, with two SUVs and two sedans, spans a broad range of price points and sizes, and its supercharger network is excellent. The U.S.-made Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and Model X have become familiar sights in U.S. cities, and often outsell established, gasoline-powered players.
Kia secured second place in the EV sales race; demand for the excellent EV6 has picked up, and the compact, versatile Niro EV has also seen an uptick. Ford came in third; the new Mustang Mach-E crossover is a vehicle we at GreenCars have tested and rated very highly, and the exciting F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup truck has just started to reach customers’ hands.
As for individual models, here were the best-selling electric car models in the U.S. in 2021.
Tesla Model Y
The “SUV” version of the successful Model 3, Tesla’s Model Y is more of a tall hatchback, a Model 3 whose roof has been stretched up to create more interior space. Still, it’s clearly been carefully refined for aerodynamics and overall efficiency, with the Long Range version making excellent use of its 80.5-kWh battery pack to deliver up to 330 miles per charge. While it doesn’t have the funky gull-wing doors of the larger Model X, getting in and out of the spacious cabin is easy, and there’s plenty of cargo space. The interior design is minimalistic with one central touch screen housing all controls. Pricing starts at just over $60,000 for the Long Range before incentives, with the Performance model costing about $5,000 more.
Tesla Model 3
America’s top-selling electric sedan also has one of the longest ranges on record. For 2022, a new kind of battery pack using lithium-ion-phosphate instead of nickel-cobalt-aluminum means even better efficiency; the Long Range AWD model stretches its 80.5-kWh battery to an impressive 358 miles per full charge. Inside, the Model 3 is roomy and comfortable, with all controls consolidated on a single touch panel. The midsize Tesla Model 3 sedan is also fun to drive, with sharp steering and impressive handling. Great range and other impressive attributes – as well as Tesla’s Supercharger network – have helped the Model 3 become a sales success.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Introduced in 2021, the Mustang Mach-E has made an impact with its combination of sporty design features, awesome performance, impressive practicality, and excellent infotainment system. The Mustang moniker is appropriate; despite having five doors and a huge interior, this crossover is fun to drive, sporty, and extremely quick. More impressive than the performance is how mature it feels – it rides well, is very quiet, and is well made. Multiple models are available, with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated range of up to 303 miles. You’ll pay close to $50,000 for a well-equipped Mach-E before incentives, but the price brings you space and a package that feels more like a luxury vehicle.
Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV
The compact Chevy Bolt is one of the most capable and well-rounded electric cars on the market. It has good range – thanks to a 65-kWh battery, it can go almost 250 miles on a charge according to the EPA. The Bolt is also desirable because of its body shape: making full use of the battery as a “skateboard,” it perches its remarkably spacious cabin on top of a tiny footprint, making this a compact, maneuverable package that actually has big-car space as well as big-car range. Increased ground clearance gives the Bolt EUV some SUV attitude, and its interior is intelligently laid out, and all its high-tech features are easy to use. For an all-around urban EV that can sometimes venture into the country, the Bolt is truly hard to beat – and a great example of the ingenuity that legacy brands like Chevrolet are capable of.
The Volkswagen ID.4 isn’t the brand’s first all-electric car – that honor goes to the humble e-Golf – but it’s definitely the brand’s first well-rounded electric car, with a range that lets it stray beyond commuting duties. A versatile, roomy SUV, it packs a huge amount of space into a footprint not much bigger than the compact Tiguan. The interior is well-built and futuristic-looking, with touch panels everywhere. All-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models are available, the latter offering an EPA-estimated range of 280 miles. Pricing is attractive too, starting in the low forties before federal, local, and regional incentives.