It may not feel like it from where we sit in Australia – despite the growing numbers of Tesla Model 3s that are appearing on the streets – but the electric vehicle transition is rapidly gaining pace in the rest of the world.
According to new data released by investment bank Morgan Stanley, in a new partnership with industry statistician EV-Volumes, the number of pure battery electric vehicles sold across the globe in April jumped nearly four-fold from the same month last year to 272,054, although due to “seasonal” factors it was down from 373,974 in March.
The big jumps in percentage terms were the China and US markets, but the growth is widespread across the globe.
The really interesting development is the relegation of Tesla to third place in the manufacturer leaderboard, behind both General Motors and Volkswagen.
This is partially explained by the fact that GM’s numbers include the phenomenal success of the $US5,000 Wuling Mini EV in China, and the fact that Tesla’s sales are usually concentrated towards the end of the quarter, plus the new volatility brought about by global chip shortages.
Tesla, we should make clear, still leads the world in year-to-date sales, with just over 215,000 sales and a 20 per cent global market share, well ahead of GM (151,310) and more than double VW.
As for individual models, the cut-price Wuling Mini led the way in the month of April, followed by the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3, confirming Elon Musk’s predictions that the Model Y would ultimately outsell the Model 3.
Then there is the quickly rising VW electric offerings, the ID.3 and the ID.4, neither of which is available in Australia. Then it’s back to another China EV, the BYD Han, followed by the Hyundai Kona.
The appearance of the Audo-e-tron at number 10 means that only four of the world’s top 10 selling EVs are available in Australia, and only six out of the top 20 (with the newly released Kia e-Niro and the Nissan Leaf).