7 Electric Vehicles With Surprising Sales in 2014

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Since electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids continue to represent a tiny fraction of U.S. auto sales, it can be difficult to separate the rumors and chatter from the facts. For that reason, a close reading of EV sales reveals many surprises. For starters, there are cars doing yeoman’s work beyond the headlines. Everyone knows the Toyota Prius is a winning hybrid, but the fact that its plug-in sells like the Tesla Model S raises eyebrows.

For the purposes of this list, any car that can be plugged into an electrical outlet and run on pure battery power will be counted as an electric vehicle. Range isn’t all that important for city drivers and people who aren’t commuters, so an EV with a range below 30 miles allows many Americans to make 80 percent of their daily trips without a drop of gasoline.

Of these plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, here are the seven EVs with surprising sales figures in 2014, with thanks to Green Car Reports for the numbers. Pricing is listed before any green car rebates are applied.

2013 volt

1. Chevy Volt ($34,185)

The sometimes maligned, oft-forgotten plug-in EV from GM’s Chevy brand is making some noise in 2014. After sales of 1,548 Volts in April, Chevy can brag its EV has posted over 5,000 on the board through the first four months of the year. That performance makes the Volt the second best-selling EV of 2014. It edged the Prius plug-in hybrid to claim that distinction. Volts run on the same platform the Cadillac ELR borrowed, which provides 35 miles of pure electric range or 98 MPGe.

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