U.S.-based sales of electric vehicles increased more than 72 percent in 2018 from the previous year, with the class of autos moving more than 354,000 such vehicles.

Tesla was the strongest performer. Sales of the manufacturer’s three battery-powered models were reported Jan. 3, totaling more than 191,000 vehicles in 2018, compared with 50,000 in 2017. Tesla sold 139,782 Model 3s in 2018, compared with 1,764 in 2017. The Model 3 is the top selling EV in the US.

According to InsideEVs, 2018 sales figures show that Tesla's battery powered Model X sold 26,100 units and its Model S sold 25,745 units.

Toyota ranked second in terms of sales in 2018, with the Prius Prime selling 27,595 vehicles in the U.S. Honda’s Clarity plug-in hybrid sold 18,211 units in 2018. GM's hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt, sold 18,306 units in 2018. Despite these figures, or possibly because of them, in November 2018, GM said it would close down the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly facility where the Volt has been built since late 2010 and that the model was to be discontinued Mar. 1, 2019.

GM is moving forward with its pure battery-powered vehicle, the Bolt. In 2018, GM sold 18,019 Bolts, ranking seventh in the U.S. In 2017, the Bolt was the second most popular EV, behind only the Tesla Model S, with sales of 23,297 units.

In other encouraging news for the EV market, the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation said that the transition to electric vehicles is well underway with "more than 1 million EVs on US roads as of October 2018." The report's authors said automakers were responding to customer demand. Thus, both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are "increasingly cost-competitive with internal combustion engines."

The electric vehicle sales appear in record territory and electricity companies are working to move the EV infrastructure system forward to meet demand. The organization said it estimates that by 2030 there will about 19 million on U.S. roadways or about 7 percent of all vehicles, which it said totals about 260 million by that time.

By the end of the end of the next decade, almost 10 million charge ports will be required to need the rise demand. "This level of increase in power demand will prove important to US utilities who are concerned with flattening demand for their power," S&P Global Platts said.

"Utilities are making big pushes to install chargers for EVs," Zane McDonald, Platts Analytics' senior transportation technology analyst, said. "They are installing the wires to stimulate this extra demand."

Worldwide, the current sales of plug-in EV sales totaled 1.7 million units, up nearly 40 percent from 2017 at 1.2 million cars sold. In fact, Tesla, long known for its headlines about operating at a loss, finally announced that it was profitable.

The rise in EV car sales may be related to federal incentives in the form of a $7,500 tax credit. That credit will drop to $3,500 in 2019 and to zero in 2020. Sales of EVs are not expected to remain as strong as seen in 2018, though, on fears that the U.S. may be entering an economic slowdown.