The Tesla Model 3 is on track to entre the top 20 most sold cars in Australia for 2021, as a fourth ship with well over 1,000 Model 3s onboard arrived at Port Kembla on Friday.
An army of Tesla Model 3s has already been filmed lined up on the docks underlining the shift that is starting to happen in the auto industry in Australia.
By the end of June it is understood that more than 4,000 Model 3s will have been delivered by the Californian carmaker to Australian drivers in Q2, pushing the local EV market to more than 2%.
That in itself is impressive, but the arrival of the new ship as the second quarter comes to an end suggests that the impact of the Model 3 on the wider auto industry is just beginning.
As noted by Tesla ship tracker @Vedaprime, the latest ship to arrive this quarter will push the number of Model 3s shipped to Australia to date in 2021 to 6,300, which is well over the 3,000 or so that were delivered in all of 2020.
A fourth ship has arrived Port Kembla – Morning Crystal. Well over 1000 #Tesla onboard.
Some will be delivered Q2, but most will be in Q3.
Over 1000 more Tesla have arrived this year compared to all of last year already. Can there be >10000 in 2021 #Tesla10000
Archive Image pic.twitter.com/tCMGVqiVxf
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) June 25, 2021
Tesla will only count a vehicle as sold once it has been delivered, which means many of the latest shipment may be included in second-half sales. But a quick comparison below shows how Tesla may give the Asian auto giants a run for their money in 2021, if compared against 2020 whole year sales.
Those who follow the sales numbers will know that 2020’s auto sales were down due to Covid as well as a two-year decline.
And while those numbers are up again – May 2021 auto sales figures were 8.9% higher than May 2019 – Tesla’s shipping so far this year shows that the Model 3 is outstripped this by far and could approach 375%.
By the end of 2021 this means that 10,000 more Model 3s could be on Australian roads – on par with Kia Seltos and Sportage, Volkswagen Golf and Honda CR-V sales in 2020. It would mean one in 100 cars sold this year are the Californian electric sedan.
This will likely put the Model 3 in the top 20 best-selling cars in Australia by year’s end, and it could be even higher considering that the two most populous states, NSW and Victoria, have now introduced $3,000 purchase incentives for electric cars and the cheapest Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is eligible for both.
This article has been updated to clarify shipping numbers in Q2, 2021.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.