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Top 5 most popular electric cars in the US

Electric car sales are growing in the US. It’s not what you’d call an explosion – 52,581 cars were sold by the major automakers in 2012, with that figure roughly doubling to 97,507 last year – but a steady adoption as more people see the virtues of these cars and the ease with which they can fit around their lifestyles.

It already looks as if electric car sales in the US will comfortably reach record highs this year, but which models in particular are racking up the sales?

The cars below make up the top five best selling cars so far this year, and consist of a mixture of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid models. The key difference between the two types of car is that while battery-electric vehicles can travel much further on electricity alone, once that charge is gone you’re stuck. Plug-in hybrids can carry on driving indefinitely thanks to their additional combustion engines.

While popular opinion and the resulting sales figures are valuable resources, however, they don’t paint the full picture. The Chevrolet Spark EV and the Fiat 500e, for instance, are both excellent electric cars but remain available only to buyers in California and Oregon.

The Honda Accord PHEV, to name a plug-in hybrid, is in the same boat. It’s fast, good-looking, and hugely economical, but availability in just a handful of states means that sales volumes remain pathetically small.

Lastly, the BMW i3 and BMW i3 Range Extender are expected to have a big impact in the US later this year and into next, with six-month waiting lists suggesting that the carbon fiber hatch will sell strongly.
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