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2021 EV sales figures: What did Model 3 outsell?

Electric Vehicle Council says Model 3, PHEV models lead EV sales charge

31 Jan 2022

UPDATED: 01/02/2022


SALES figures released by the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) show the Tesla Model 3 not only far and away leads the sale of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Australia but accounts for more than a third of all mid-size passenger cars sold here in 2021.


Official Tesla sales figures obtained by the EVC showed that 12,094 examples of the Model 3 were delivered in Australia during 2021, topping second-place getter, the MG ZS that achieved 1388 unit sales, by a factor of almost 10 to one.


For comparison, the Toyota Camry shifted 13,081 units last year, taking a 72.6 per cent share of the medium passenger car segment, while the entire premium (above $60K) mid-size passenger car segment – in which the Model 3 would compete if Tesla participated in VFACTS sales figures – amounted to a combined 12,590 units in 2021.


With a single model, Tesla outsold Lexus (9290 units in 2021) and Volvo (9028 units) while threatening to soon overtake Audi (16,003 units).


Considering popular models from popular segments, the Model 3 even outsold the Subaru Forester medium SUV.


According to the EVC, the figures show that Australia is on “the precipice of an EV economic boom” and the body says the federal government must act now to capitalise on market momentum.


“The penny has now well and truly dropped on how good electric vehicles are. Most people in the car market will now be considering an electric option. The role of government is to help them make the jump,” EVC CEO Behyad Jafari said. 


“Governments that take the path of encouragement will capture myriad societal benefits – cleaner air, reduced respiratory illness, smaller carbon footprint, quieter roads. Those that lag will make themselves a dumping ground for old-tech, dirty vehicles.”


Mr Jafari said that sales of plug-in electric vehicles more than tripled in 2021, up from 6900 units the year prior to 20,665, and that overall electric vehicles now account for 1.95 per cent of the new vehicle market locally.


The Top 10 BEV and PHEV sales ladder for Australia shows a comprehensive mix of vehicle makes, models and sizes is now available locally with sports, family, and commuter cars forming the balance of the list behind Tesla’s overwhelmingly popular Model 3.


“It’s great that some state governments have received the global message, but at a national level we’re stuck in the past,” Mr Jafari continued.


“We desperately need the federal government to introduce Australian EV rebates alongside fuel efficiency standards, just like other developed nations. If we get these changes, you’ll see sales figures really rocket ahead.”


A recent consumer review of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 conducted by GoAuto News (see link below) corroborated Mr Jafari’s views. 


Of the four readers chosen to test drive an electric vehicle, all said they would be more inclined to purchase such a model if government incentives helped to lower the purchase price.


Currently, BEV models in many segments retail for almost double the price of an equivalent ICE powered rival.


“As a wealthy, car-loving, early-adapting nation, Australia should be an electric vehicle leader. If we were, we could restart a thriving manufacturing industry supporting thousands of quality jobs. But we need to build rapidly on this current momentum,” Mr Jafari added.


“After so many wasted years, Australia’s a long way back from the pack, but then again the cool thing about electric cars is how quickly they move from zero to a hundred,” he concluded. 



2022 Top 10 BEV & PHEV sales:

1 Tesla Model 3 12,094
2 MG ZS 1388
3 Mitsubishi Outlander 592
4 MG HS 580
5 Porsche Taycan 531
6 Hyundai Kona 505
7 Volvo XC40 495
8 Hyundai Ioniq 5 407
9 Nissan Leaf 367
10 Mercedes-Benz EQA 367

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