2017 Tesla Model 3Enlarge Photo
Next year is shaping up to be a banner year for electric cars globally.
The new, longer-range second-generation Nissan Leaf will be in production at three factories around the world, the Tesla Model 3 should hit volume production, and the Chevy Bolt EV will be fully available in North America, Europe, and South Korea.
And then there's China, where sales during the first six months of the year ran at twice the rate of those in the U.S.
We were curious to see which car out of four potentially high-volume plug-in cars our Twitter followers thought would sell best.
We offered up the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model 3, and also the Tesla Model S which has racked up more total sales than all the others except the Leaf.
It's pretty clear where the sentiments of our survey respondents lie: with Tesla.
Which electric car will sell best in 2018, globally?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) September 21, 2017
More than six out of 10 voters (61 percent) chose the Tesla Model 3 as the electric car that would rack up the highest global sales in 2018.
The Nissan Leaf came next, but it was chosen by just 25 percent of participants.
The Chevy Bolt EV, which is sold in some European countries as the Opel Ampera-e, garnered just 12 percent of the votes.
And the Tesla Model S, which has sold around 50,000 copies a year for the past couple of years, got just 2 percent of the more than 400 votes cast.
It's not surprising that the Model 3 took the laurels; Tesla finally clarified in early August (after 16 months of refusing to give an update) that it had 455,000 net reservations in hand for its lower-priced electric model.
The early Model 3s delivered are not the 220-mile, $35,000 version, but high-end 310-mile Long Range variants whose prices run $50,000 and higher.
2018 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVEnlarge Photo
2017 Tesla Model S 100D [photo: David Noland, owner]Enlarge Photo
But assuming that Tesla can ramp up its production lines to a remarkable 5,000 electric cars a week by the end of December, as it promises, ample volumes of Model 3s of all varieties should start to emerge within months.
Projections for the 150-mile Nissan Leaf, with a U.S. starting price under $31,000, were more cautious: the Japanese carmaker has said it hopes to double sales of the new Leaf.
That would take U.S. sales to roughly 60,000 per year.
The Leaf remains the highest-volume electric car in history, with more than 280,000 delivered since December 2010.
General Motors has resolutely refused to comment on Bolt EV volumes, saying only that the company had the capacity to produce as many cars as required to meet demand.
Let the games begin.
As always, the results of our Twitter poll aren't statistically valid—for a variety of reasons having to do with who saw the survey and who chose to respond—and should be viewed as discussion fodder, not a representative scientific survey.