model 3
Credit: Bridie Schmidt

It was only last week that we reported that electric car sales in Australia are experiencing hitherto unseen interest, as sales double and consumers indicate that they are increasingly researching and considering to buy an EV next vehicle purchase.

But new reports quoting Tesla delivery staff confirm what has long been suspected – that Tesla is currently working to deliver “thousands” of Model 3s EV sedans to new – and long-waiting – customers.

According to a response received by Model 3 customer and tech writer Jason Cartwright, Tesla’s Australian delivery team “are all working tirelessly to accommodate for the thousands of orders” they are tasked with delivering.

While not an exact number, it is reasonable to suppose that the Model 3 is on the way to becoming, if not already, the best-selling EV in Australia.

Tesla does not report on local sales numbers, which means figures from the monthly Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reports are never exact for electric vehicle sales – but for comparison’s sake, let’s look at recent figures reported on by The Driven.

In August, July sales figures from the FCAI showed that sales of plug-in electric vehicles (which includes battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)) doubled from 762 in year-to-date (YTD) in 2018 to 1,572 YTD 2019, with 64 sold for the month of July.

Last Thursday we reported that August sales showed that 267 plug-in electric vehicles were sold, quadrupling the previous month’s record and showing a similar doubling YTD from August 2018.

These are figures taken across a small but growing number of electric vehicles, although when considering that the greatest jump in EV sales has been in the SUV segment (numbers sold jumped five-fold both YoY and YTD) this can for the moment be mainly attributed to the success of the Hyundai Kona electric.

But perhaps not for long. While Tesla doesn’t consider a sale recorded until a delivery is made, the fact that delivery staff are reporting “thousands” of Model 3s are on the way to customers suggests that a significant tipping point may have been reached.

This boost comes as sales for petrol and diesel cars are lagging, and have been doing so for 17 consecutive months, while interest in and awareness of electric vehicles continues to increase, according to survey responses collected for the Electric Vehicle Council’s annual “State of Electric Vehicles” report.

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