After about a decade of electric vehicle expansion, there is already multiple individual all-electric models with six-digit cumulative sales results.

Thanks to the EV Sales Blog data, we can see the top BEVs (the comparison excludes plug-in hybrids), which lists 13 cars, and five of them already exceeded 200,000.

The top-selling BEV without any doubt is the Tesla Model 3, estimated at 645,000. Tesla currently shares Model 3 delivery numbers combined with the Model Y (over 729,000 by the end of September 2020).

The second-best and long-time leader is the Nissan LEAF with 490,000 according to the list, although we know that 500,000 were produced by early September, and a probably a similar number is now sold.

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3
Nissan LEAF production in Sunderland, UK
Nissan LEAF production in Sunderland, UK

The big difference between the LEAF and Model 3 is that the first has been already nearly 10 years on the market, while the second for over three years.

The third best is another Tesla - the Model S with 305,000 units, far ahead of the fourth Renault ZOE (231,000), but considering the sales of ZOE in recent months, the French subcompact might beat Model S at some point in the future. Both cars were introduced at a similar time in 2012.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Renault ZOE
Renault ZOE

Then we see two Chinese models from BAIC, the EC-Series and EU-Series, which both had periods of outstanding sales results. Those times however are in the past and we don't see such high performance from BAIC anymore.

Further down the table we see BMW i3 (this one is an exceptional model, as it has also a REx version with an emergency ICE), Tesla Model X (the third Tesla in the top 8), Chery eQ (another China-only) and Volkswagen e-Golf (soon to be retired because of the introduction of the ID.3).

Surprisingly, there is only one BYD model in the six-digit ranking - BYD e5 at #13 (105,000)! The Chinese manufacturer for multiple years was the top-selling electric car manufacturer globally, dethroned later by Tesla.

Top 13 by EV Sales Blog stats:

  1. Tesla Model 3 - 645,000
  2. Nissan LEAF - 490,000
  3. Tesla Model S - 305,000
  4. Renault ZOE - 231,000
  5. BAIC EC-Series - 203,000
  6. BAIC EU-Series - 196,000
  7. BMW i3 - 191,000
  8. Tesla Model X - 177,000
  9. Chery eQ - 139,000
  10. Volkswagen e-Golf - 136,000
  11. Baojun E-Series - 118,000
  12. Geely Emgrand EV - 107,000
  13. BYD e5 - 105,000

* data are often just estimations

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