Tesla and its leader Elon Musk have been the biggest proponents of electric propulsion, first with the Lotus Elise-based roadster, followed by the pioneering Model S and Model X luxury vehicles, and now its most mainstream car, the Model 3. After an unheard-of 400,000 pre-orders but a slow production start, the Model 3 took the market by storm in 2018. This is backed by data from Experian on the car’s market influence, based on registration data through June 2018 and individual retail transactions.

The Model 3 led with 37.5% of the U.S. electric vehicle market in the first half of 2018 on 22,265 registrations. The Model S was second with 16.1% share and 9539 registrations, and its Model X third with 12.7% share and 7517 registrations, further strengthening Tesla’s dominance of the U.S. EV market. The Chevrolet Bolt in fourth with 12.1% on 7214 registrations.

The Model 3 was seventh in new individual retail luxury registrations in the first half of 2018, but in recent months has outsold its BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4 direct competitors, combined. And Tesla’s owner loyalty is tops in the industry through May 2018, with 80.5% of returning Tesla owners buying another Tesla (Subaru was second at 72.1%).

This leading market performance is backed by leading design and technology including the most advanced large-scale lithium battery pack produced for an EV, a joint-effort with Panasonic to produce the 2170 cells at the Gigafactory in Nevada. Combined with a vehicle design for class-leading efficiency, those batteries are able to take the car further than other EVs. The car’s structure is engineered for ultimate safety, with a perfect five-star safety rating (like the Model S and X) from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There are many other innovations, but one of the most consumer-facing for which Tesla is a pioneer is the ability to update the car easily with over-the-air software updates, so the car can improve with age.

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