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Don’t let the popularity of the Tesla Model S fool you: Electric vehicles aren’t selling as well as perhaps they should be.

In fact, less than one percent of the nearly 18 million cars, trucks and sport utilities bought by Americans last year were electric. It’s not all bad news on the EV front, though, and optimists will be quick to note the progress they have made in their short history on the market. After all, sales of battery electric vehicles have continued to climb steadily, hitting nearly 160,000 in 2016, or the same number of vehicles sold by Acura last year. Regardless, proponents of electric propulsion are still waiting for EVs to carve out a more significant share of the market. And perhaps the biggest obstacle in the way is price.

Get past range anxiety and long charging times, and the astronomical upfront cost of EV ownership is no doubt keeping plenty of potential buyers away. Yet in an ironic twist — and one that’s akin to the issue of the chicken or the egg — those prices are likely to remain high until more buyers opt for EVs. Automakers know this all too well, and a handful are working on electrified solutions that fit the needs — and budgets — of the masses. And the first of this new class of relatively affordable, everyday-friendly EVs to hit the market is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.
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