A Pivotal Moment
The electric vehicle (EV) movement is going strong. With almost two times as many Americans purchasing EVs in the first quarter of 2022 as in the first quarter of 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book, EVs are gaining more ground, faster than ever before. More than five percent of total car sales are now EVs for the first time in history.
The best-selling EVs of 2022 so far include some of the most technologically forward vehicles, the biggest names, and best values. Tesla, of course, kept their lead as the EV market leader this year with a huge chunk of EV sales, however, some other makers aren’t far behind and EVs from Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, and Volkswagen also made the top ten list.
Booming Electric Car Sales
Today you can find literally dozens of all-electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles in showrooms all across America. In the next few years, dozens more new models will appear in every shape and configuration, from hot hatches and compact crossovers, to sleek sedans, high performance racers, stylish SUVs and even powerful pickup trucks.
Kelley Blue Book tells us that two times as many Americans purchased EVs in the first quarter of 2022 as in the first quarter of 2021. In fact, more than five percent of total car sales this year are electric cars. Those numbers will continue to grow as automakers make the switch to an all-electric future and Americans also buy electric cars to curb high gasoline prices and worries over climate change.
As we move ever-nearer to a cleaner, greener future, EVs will make up more and more of the personal transportation landscape. Electric vehicle sales growth topped that of the global car market in 2021, up 26 percent over the previous year. Even with component shortages, global EV sales will top 6.4 million units sold worldwide for the year, up an astounding 168 percent over the previous year.
Tesla led global sales growth last year, selling over 386,000 units in the first quarter, followed by the Volkswagen Group with 332,000 units sold. General Motors came in the third spot with sales of 227,000 units in the first quarter. Currently, total EVs in operation around the planet have topped 16-million and two-thirds of those are all-electric vehicles.
Top 10 Best-Selling Electric Cars
When looking at the U.S. market, the following list of the Top 10 Best Selling Electric Cars are leading the zero-emission pack. All have proven their mettle in a very competitive field and also lead the way in terms of low maintenance, excellent range, and the latest safety and driver assist features. This list is compiled from least to most units sold based on sales figures provided by Automotive News estimates. For more details on these best-selling EVs and more, check out the GreenCars Marketplace powered by Driveway.com.
#10 – Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Sales totals for the all-electric version of Hyundai’s Ioniq hatchback, which is also available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, were up 167 percent over last year. The Ioniq comes in with the lowest range of our Top 10 contenders, because of its small 38.3-kWh battery pack, for an EPA estimated range of 170 miles before it needs a charge. However, Hyundai has packed the Ioniq with clever driver assist features as standard as well as DC fast charging capability.
MSRP starts at $39,950.
#9 – Porsche Taycan
Those with a need for speed are flocking to the German automaker’s excellent high performance Taycan. In its Turbo S trim, this luxury racer can take you from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds. That’s faster than you can read this sentence. However, that trim level will also set you back 185K. The lower priced 4S rear-wheel drive variant will take you 227 miles on a charge and still rocket you to 60 in just 3.8 seconds. That’s plenty fast and you save around 100K.
MSRP starts at $86,700.
#8 – Hyundai Kona Electric
Another big win for Hyundai, the Kona Electric sold four times more units that its Ioniq model. The Kona is more popular due to its larger battery pack, offering a range of 258 miles compared to the Ioniq’s 170 miles. Another reason it outdistances sales of the Ioniq is that the Kona is a compact crossover, the most popular SUV on the market today. Both vehicles include Hyundai’s excellent vehicle warranty that includes a 10-year/100,000 powertrain warranty and 5-years of roadside assistance.
MSRP starts at $34,000.
#7 – Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback
If high luxury is your thing, the e-tron line will silently whisk you away in comfort and style. Available as a compact sport utility vehicle or a sleek Sportback sedan, the e-tron offers a two-motor, all-wheel drive system boasting 355-horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque. You can drive 222 miles before needing a charge and Audi says its 150-kW DC fast charger will recharge your e-tron to 80 percent in just 30 minutes. With the rear seats stowed, you’ll have 57-cubic feet of cargo room.
MSRP starts at $70,800.
#6 – Nissan Leaf
First appearing in 2011, the faithful little Leaf is a big seller and known for low maintenance costs and a roomy interior. The base S model comes with a 40-kWh battery pack for a range of 147 miles. However, the S Plus trim level offers a beefier 214-horsepower motor and bigger 62-kWh battery for a range of 226 miles for just 5K more. That’s important to know since the 2022 Leaf is at least 5K cheaper than it was last year and unlike the Chevy Bolt, you can still get the $7,500 federal tax credit on the Leaf.
MSRP starts at $27,800.
#5 – Volkswagen ID.4
The lively ID.4 is the first of the Volkswagen Group’s accelerated electrification fleet of soon to be released zero-emission vehicles and it took 2022 by storm. Offering a comfortable ride and plenty of interior room, the plucky ID.4 crossover’s base trim comes with a 201-horsepower motor and rear-wheel drive. Expect a two-motor version featuring all-wheel drive for 2023. You’ll get 250 miles on a charge and the latest infotainment, safety and driver assist features.
MSRP starts at $41,230.
#4 – Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford has a huge hit on its hands and has tripled production on the Mustang Mach-E. This nimble and quick crossover does everything very well. Its handsome interior is packed with the latest tech features. Plus, the GT variant produces 480-horsepower and will take you from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds! For 2022 the Mach-E Premium model has a bigger 91-kWh battery pack for 305 miles of range and the California 1 Edition is offered with all-wheel drive, a heated steering wheel, heated seats and more.
MSRP starts at $43,895.
#3 – Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV
Another top seller in the EV market is the Chevy Bolt EV hatchback and EUV crossover. Sales are up 76 percent over the previous year. The 2022 Bolt models have a single 200-horsepower motor that delivers 266 pound-feet of torque and a range of 259 miles but they are $5,500 cheaper than last year’s models and offer a new and more comfortable interior. Chevy has updated the design of its best-selling EV and now includes a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 55-kWh DC fast charging as standard.
MSRP starts at $25,600.
#2 – Tesla Model 3
Over one million of these entry level Teslas have been sold, setting trends in the EV world for its minimalist design and large touchscreen control center. The compact luxury sedan comes in three trim levels starting with the Standard Range Plus with its single motor and 54-kWh battery for a range of 263 miles. The two premium trim packages include dual motors, AWD, and a larger 82-kWh battery pack for a range of 353 up to miles. Performance wise, the Standard Range Plus handles zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the Long Range manages a 4.2 second time, and the Performance variant blasts to 60 in just 3.1 seconds!
MSRP starts at $46,990.
#1 – Tesla Model Y
The world’s best-selling EV is last year’s star performer, the Tesla Model Y. This compact SUV outsold the Model 3 and the company doubled production on the Model Y in 2022. The sure-footed sibling to the Model 3 is seriously quick, an electric sports car in a crossover body. There are two variants to choose from, the Long Range which will take you 326 miles on a charge, and the Performance, which is good for 303 miles before you have to plug it in. Both versions have dual motors and all-wheel drive. The Long Range will rush you to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the aptly named Performance will get you there in a neck-cracking 3.5 seconds. The Model Y also has an impressive 44-cubic feet of cargo space.
MSRP starts at $65,990.