Tesla Model 3
Next year should be a record year for sales of plug-in electric cars.
A new crop of affordable electric cars with 200 miles of range or more will be available, joining this year's Chevrolet Bolt EV, including the next-generation Nissan Leaf and the mass-market Tesla Model 3.
So our thoughts inevitably turned to which one is likely to sell best.
As we often do, we turned to our Twitter followers with a poll to get a sense of their expectations for next year's electric-car market.
The results showed, once again, that Silicon Valley electric-car maker Tesla Motors retains a strong and compelling hold on many electric-car advocates' perceptions of how the market will change.
Of three cars we listed as options, the Tesla Model 3 was chosen as next year's best-selling electric model by almost six out of 10 respondents (59 percent).
Which electric car will sell best during 2018?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) March 21, 2017
Assuming it is successful at becoming a much higher-volume maker, it is to be hoped that Tesla starts to report monthly deliveries to give reporters directly comparable numbers against other makers' sales releases. It currently refuses to do so.
The Tesla Model 3, which company CEO Elon Musk says is now in production "release candidate" testing for a start of production this summer, will have 215 miles or more of range and a starting price of $35,000.
The next most popular vehicle in our list was the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the 238-mile hatchback that starts at $37,500 before incentives.
The Bolt EV's been on sale for three months so far, and is slowly rolling out across all 50 states, though that process won't be completed until September, a slower schedule than many had expected.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, owned by Brian Ro, Columbia, Maryland
The Bolt EV was chosen by roughly one quarter (24 percent) of survey respondents as next year's best-selling electric car.
The third candidate, the second-generation Nissan Leaf that will be unveiled this year and go into production late in the year, was chosen as next year's best-selling electric car by only 13 percent of followers.
That's not too surprising, since far less is known about the 2018 Leaf and its specifications—especially its top battery range—than about the other two.
Finally, 4 percent of respondents felt that next year's best-selling plug-in electric car would be something other than the Bolt EV, Leaf, or Model 3.
We're scratching our heads to figure out what that candidate might be, though.