While bears and bulls incessantly churn the information mill with their considered opinions of Tesla, one fact to bear in mind is the Model S outsells the vast majority of hybrids sold in the U.S. and leads the board in plug-in sales as well.

Of 31 models of hybrid on offer in the U.S., the only vehicles with more units delivered year to date through November are the Toyota Prius Liftback, RAV4 Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Kia Niro Hybrid.

The Model S also outpaces all 24 plug-in hybrids for sale in the U.S. and 15 other battery electric models.

In short, it’s the fifth best-selling electrified vehicle of any type, and this is true despite its starting price in the 70s and with many being configured to tens of thousands above that base level.

The hybrids and plug-ins it beats month after month are what the major automakers are coming up with to meet regulations, and Tesla, the outlier, is the only manufacturer tracked by the HybridCars.com Dashboard that’s all-in with EVs, and only EVs.

The Numbers

Tesla’s Model S has an estimated 21,700 sales this year through November. It is clearly eclipsed by the Prius (60,230), Fusion Hybrid (53,305), RAV4 (45,713) and outpaced also by the Niro Hybrid (24,840).

But all these cars are supposed to be mainstream vehicles. They all are priced very competitively, represent true values next to gas-powered cars without subsidies, while people often observe the Model S is a luxury car from a small manufacturer with outsized market cap.

By traditional fundamentals, that is true. The automaker has struggled, faces great challenges, and its future is not guaranteed. This said, people other than gamblers playing the stock market still keep voting for Tesla with their wallet to put its product in their driveway more often than choosing one of 67 other U.S. market electrified vehicles, most of which are cheaper and quite nice in their own right.

It’s more-often pointed out the plug-in car market is a sub-section of the industry, with only 1 percent share. Within that realm however, Tesla is a giant of popularity, and this shows consumer intent.

Among plug-in electrified vehicles, there are actually more for sale in the U.S. now than the established hybrid market, yet nothing the majors have scrambled to put up for sale so far has beaten the Model S.

The nearest competitor in terms of sales volume is the Chevy Bolt EV which GM fast-tracked as an alternative for the Model 3. The compact crossover with 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and great interior volume has through November 20,070 sales to the Model S’ 21,700.

Assuming Tesla’s projections come true, it will soon be selling far more Model 3s than Model S, and our own analyst consultant, Alan Baum figures next year the Model 3 will be selling upwards of 100,000 units.

This said, GM’s would-be Model 3 alternative can’t even outpace the Model S despite costing from $37,495 and offering 238 miles of EPA-rated range, and spritely performance. Next year Baum believes the Bolt’s sales will not far exceed its current sales volume where it has now leveled out to.

Small Potatoes

If you think 1 percent market share for the plug-in market is a small number, and Tesla is a gnat among giants, it’s actually a giant within realm of the market all the purported giants are competing within.

Among excellently sorted, wonderfully effective hybrids the Model S’ 21,700 estimated sales beats are, in descending order: Honda Acord Hybrid (20,848), Toyota Highlander Hybrid (15,258), Toyota Prius c (11,461), Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (9,936), Ford C-Max Hybrid (9,270), Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (9,007), Toyota Prius v (8,973), Lexus RX450 h (7,601), Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (5,436).

The Model S also leads these plug-in electrified vehicles: Toyota Prius Prime (18,516), Chevy Volt (18,412), Nissan Leaf (11,128), BMW i3 BEV plus REx (5,604), BMW X5 PHEV (4,517), VW e-Golf (3,191), Fiat 500e (3,136).

Almost in a Class of One

Obviously Tesla is in a class of one, but the point being made is lower priced cars are expected to sell better than higher priced ones, especially when they’re 2-4 times more pricey and clearly luxury purchases. The Model S however is an outlier.

But there is another car that is also electric and sells very well. Its name is the Tesla Model X. It has an estimated 18,300 sales to date, is the third best-selling plug-in car, and seventh-best selling electrified vehicle of any sort. A similar story can be told of it.

The Model S is actually down 9 percent this year, and the Model X is up 24.3 percent.

In the face of a plethora of choices, they signal a consumer itch that Tesla has best been able so far to scratch.

Analysts have repeatedly said Tesla’s biggest challenge will be managing the business as it attempts to morph from over-achieving boutique maker to mass market manufacturer.

CEO Elon Musk recently said Tesla about leads all other stocks in short positions, and that’s the financial equivalent of vultures flying overhead.

An analysis of reams of other variables is beyond this article’s scope, but notable is Tesla is an unequivocal leader while the majors say they will be flooding the market into next decade to catch up.

The jury remains out, but today the Model S is beating almost every other attempt by the automakers doing business in the U.S. to produce and market low- and zero- emissions vehicles that people actually want to buy.

HybridCars.com has no position or vested interest in TSLA.