Page Header

0345 811 9595

Mon-Fri 9am to 5.30pm

Greyscale Map Background

Mapped: The world’s most popular electric cars

Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak the vehicle market took a big hit with travel restricted to essential-only journeys and people self-isolated across the world. Despite this, registrations for electric vehicles (EVs) are back on the rise. July saw a 77% increase in the number of EVs purchased in that month alone, compared to both 2018 and 2019.

As the world begins to slowly return to ‘normal’, it is estimated that in 2020 there will be around 2.9 million world-wide EV sales, unless COVID-19 forces important EV markets into severe lockdowns again.

Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we decided to find out which electric cars are the most desired and most searched for in the world, broken down by country.

We looked at open data from, which analysed the number of global electric vehicle sales over the last three years, broken down by continent. We then analysed Google search volume data for electric and hybrid vehicles in 152 different countries across the world and mapped out our findings to show the most desired make and model in every country. We also looked at electric and hybrid supercars too.

Worldwide: research reveals Tesla Model 3 to be the most popular electric car

We analysed Google search volume data for 126 different car makes and models, of which 74 were electric vehicles and 72 were hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Supercar models make up 44 of the total number of cars.

Our data reveals that the electric four-door sedan manufactured by Tesla, is the most desired electric car model with 1,852,356 global monthly searches. Tesla has previously stated that the Model 3 carries full self-driving hardware to be optionally enabled at a future date.

The second most popular electric vehicle is the Nissan Leaf - a tech-advanced model, compact five-door hatchback electric car manufactured by Nissan. This car is now in its second generation and was the top-selling electric vehicle in Europe in 2018.

Nationwide vehicle Contracts • Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius is the most searched for hybrid vehicle

Our data reveals that the powerful plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius is the most searched for hybrid vehicle with over 353,755 monthly searches. The iconic Toyota Prius has evolved over the years and is now better than ever, boasting efficiency, a sleek design and cutting-edge technology.

Coming in second, is the Hyundai IONIQ, delivering everything you expect from a conventional car but with all the environmental and economic benefits that come with driving an electric vehicle. This particular model, which combines a sleek design with the efficiency of an electrified driving experience, achieved 184,064 searches per month.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV takes third place with 71,128 monthly searches across the globe. This particular model has previously taken the top spot, being described by Fleet News as ‘one of the best plug-in hybrid cars available’ thanks to its power, handling, efficiency and versatility.

Research reveals BMW i8 to be the ultimate alternative-powered supercar

BMW I8 • Nationwide Vehicle Contracts
When it comes to supercars, only the fastest and most exclusive cars on the market qualify. But which eco-friendly supercars have captured the world’s attention the most?

When looking at the monthly search volumes for electric and hybrid supercars, it’s no surprise that automotive giants Ferrari, Porsche, Tesla and Honda all make the top ten.

Our research shows that the plug-in hybrid the BMW i8 is the most popular supercar, receiving a whopping 828,154 searches per month!

The BMW i8 is the world's top selling plug-in electric sports car, exceeding sales of all competitors in its segment combined.

Revealed: Europe are the biggest fans of EVs in 2020

When looking at worldwide EV sales data from, Europe became the clear winner of 2020 H1, accounting for 414,000 of the total number of sales made within the first half of the year. The impact of COVID-19 on vehicle markets was most severe in Europe, but despite this, EV sales grew by 57% compared to the previous year.

For the first time since 2015, more EVs were sold in Europe than in China, who comes in second with 385,000 sales. China's decline of EV sales began in July 2019 and continued through H1 of 2020, amplified by the market slump as a result of COVID-19.

China was followed by the United States with 111,000. Japan accounted for just 14,000 sales, with the remaining 64,000 coming from other areas of the world.

Sources and Methodology

We looked at open data from which analysed the number of global electric vehicle sales over the last three years, broken down by continent.

We analysed every electric and hybrid car model released, including supercar models. We didn’t include any concept cars and ensured that all models were road legal. Each model selected had to be powered by electric either solely or as part of a hybrid.

Using’s Keyword Explorer Tool, we found the average monthly Google searches for 126 electric and hybrid models across 152 countries in the world.’s search volume data is a combination of clickstream and Google Keyword Planner data, to deliver more accurate keyword data.

We visualised the data by collating our findings into a handy map, which shows the most popular electric or hybrid vehicle in every country. Territories were excluded, as were countries with low search volume data.