Seen above is the list of the Top Ten best-selling automobile in the US in 2012.

The lowest vehicle on that list, the Ford Escape, sold 261,008.  Meanwhile, the best-selling plug-in vehicle in 2012, the Chevy Volt, sold 23,641 units.

Eventually, there will come a time when a plug-in makes the US' Top Ten chart, but when will that be?

There's no shot at a plug-in making the Top Ten chart for 2013, as the Chevrolet Volt is the current YTD sales leader at 14,994 through August.  However, GM did sell 3,351 last month (an overall/all-time plug-in record) which if repeated over the course of a year would net 40,212 sold - still not that close, but better,

Predicting the future is not easy, but we think it'll be at least 2018 before a plug-in land a Top Ten spot and by that time it's likely that some of today's plug-ins won't still be on the market.

It seem entirely possible that Tesla Gen III electric could be the first to grab a Top Ten, but only if Tesla hits all of its targets (200+ mile range and sub $35,000 price tag).

But what say you?  In what year will a plug-in break into the Top Ten and which plug-in will it be?  Answers such as "the first plug-in to cost less than $20,000 with a range of XXX miles are acceptable" as are answers that only say which automaker will make the as-of-now unknown plug-in that'll climb its way onto the chart.

Let's see what we can come up with.  Here is a look at what the plug-ins did in 2012:

Lead graphic via Kicking Tires

Got a tip for us? Email: