Even with solid increases, other electric-car sales paled in comparison with numbers from Tesla in September and for the third quarter of 2018.

The next highest sellers, were the Chevrolet Bolt EV, with 3,949 sales from July to September, and the Nissan Leaf just behind with 3,767 for the quarter.

By comparison, Tesla announced it sold 55,843 Model 3s in the third quarter along with 14,470 Model Ses and 13,190 Model Xes.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid drive, Napa Valley, Caifornia, Dec 2017

The Tesla numbers include overseas sales, while other automakers publish U.S. delivery numbers separately. A large majority of Tesla's sales, however. are in the U.S., leaving the company's electric cars by far the No. 1, 2, and 3 sellers in the U.S.

Electric car purists may be surprised to learn that the most popular plug-in hybrid models handily outsold the bestselling electrics (other than Teslas).

As in previous quarters, the top among these was the Toyota Prius Prime with 6,268 sales for the quarter, selling almost 2,100 a month on average.

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The Chevy Volt, with 5,429 sales for the quarter fell  behind by about 13 percent, even with its longer range and greater electric driving capability. 

The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid,gave the Volt a close race with 5,298 sales for the quarter. It offers almost as much electric range (48 miles to 53), at a similar price, but it has a much larger back seat. 

Other electric and plug-in hybrid models fell far short of these totals. The closest was the BMW i3, with 1,343 sales for the quarter. BMW does not break out how many i3s are equipped with the gasoline range-extender.

2018 BMW i3s

2018 BMW i3s

Ford sold 1,398 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, a car that has been a bestseller among plug-ins for years, in part due to consistently high sales incentives, according to our monthly deals report.

Mitsubishi sold 1,094 Outlander Plug-In Hybrids, during the quarter, or about 365 a month. Mitsubishi sells quite a few more Outlander Plug-In Hybrids in Canada.

The Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid hatchback, with a 16-mile electric range, sold 666 for the quarter.

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That's in the range that other luxury European automakers usually sell. BMW and Mercedes-Benz don't break out sales of their plug-in hybrid models, and Volvo didn't respond to our inquiry with a breakout by press time.

Tesla and General Motors, the two leading plug-in vehicle manufacturers only provide official sales reports quarterly.

Green Car Reports will continue to provide quarterly sales updates for plug-in cars, which give a clearer picture of which models best capture the public's imagination and are leading the way toward wider adoption of plug-in cars.