Tesla’s dominant position of the Australian electric car market continues to rise, as it claims 80% of new EV sales to date in 2020 bringing the Australian EV market total to around 17,600 vehicles.
An estimated 1,000 Model 3s have been shipped to Australia in the first two months of 2020, as well as around 20 Model S premium electric sedans and 30 Model X electric SUVs.
The figures, provided by Tesla ship tracking sources which show a total 1,167 Tesla vehicles have been or are being shipped by the Californian carmaker to Australia so far in 2020, indicate that demand for the Model 3 remains strong even after the initial surge of reservation holder deliveries were fulfilled.
While Vfacts compiles figures from the entire auto industry on the behalf of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) of which Tesla is a member, Tesla does not report local sales figures, and only records an order as a sale once the vehicle has been delivered.
Combined with sales figures as issued by Vfacts this month, the impact of the Model 3 on the Australian car market continues to stun.
Overall, an estimated 1,300 new electric vehicles have been sold in Australia in year-to-date figures up until February. After the Tesla Model 3, the most popular models were the Hyundai Kona Electric and all-electric Hyundai Ioniq.
The Nissan Leaf trailed not far behind while sales of the Jaguar I-Pace, BMW i3 and Renault Zoe came in the bottom three.Added to 2012-2019’s total of 16,278 electric vehicles sold, the new sales this year bring the total to around 17,578 vehicles, a vindication for carmakers who have brought in electric vehicles to Australia despite a grinding lack of action, policy or incentives at a federal level geared towards encouraging adoption.
Of the Tesla Model 3s, it is understood about 60% of sales are the circa $70,000 Standard Range Plus, followed by about 20% each of the more expensive Long Range and Performance variants.
As previously covered by The Driven, sales of electric vehicles including both battery electric and plug-in hybrid surged in February particularly in the non-private passenger and light commercial vehicles segments, suggesting a clear shift in buying intentions for fleets.
But what was not covered by those numbers, and we can now reveal using estimated above, is that private electric car passenger sales in fact jumped an estimated 875% in February compared to 2019 and around 640% year-to-date.
The updated graph is as shown here:
Against a background of nearly 2 year decline in petrol and diesel sales, the future continue to look optimistic for Australia – although it would look even brighter for the Australian car market as a whole if government incentives were able to play a role in increasing adoption.
With GM’s announcement of the departure of Holden from the Australian car market from June 2021 due to lack of profitability, there is a cloud hanging over the market as a whole.
GM is, as we covered yesterday, instead embarking upon an ambitious plan to up its EV game, but there is no information on if we will see GM introduce EVs are as carmakers are still by and large nervous about bringing new drivetrains here without the confidence of government policy support.
An “imminent” EV strategy from NSW remains in the waiting wings, other states remain largely dumb on the issue and a federal strategy expected to be announced in mid-2020 is expected to introduce a plan to ensure charging infrastructure continues to be supported. How slowly the wheels turn.
Correction: This article has been updated to include EV sales figures in Australia prior to 2018.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.