Electric vehicle sales have enjoyed a significant upturn, quadrupling in July compared to the same month in 2020, according to new figures.
The figures, which The Driven has compiled using sales data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and Tesla shipping numbers, are shown in the graph below, and reveal significant growth in EV sales, albeit still from a low base.
Even the local car industry can see this.
“…significant this month is the strong demand for Electric (EV) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) in Victoria and NSW, where the state governments have introduced a road user charge offset by consumer grants and continuing infrastructure investment,” said FCAI chief Tony Weber in a statement.
That statement probably needs some clarification: The Victoria road user charge is the only one in effect, and NSW won’t be until at least 2027, while Victoria is also the only state offering consumer grants right now. NSW begins in September.
While Tesla does not share local sales data with the FCAI, it is understood that around 1,200 Tesla electric cars – mostly Model 3s – were shipped to Australia in July. As Tesla manufactures and ships to match orders it is safe to say the majority of these results equate to sales.
Added to that are 515 EVs made by the legacy carmakers, the majority of which were models at either end of the pricing spectrum: the lowest cost MG ZS EV, and the highest cost Porsche Taycan electric sports car.
Porsche says it sold 45 Taycans in July, bringing its year-to-date total to 414, while MG says it has sold 130 ZS EVs in June, bringing its total for the year to 859 vehicles.
Put together this makes an estimated 1,700 EVs sold in July. Compared to around 420 in July 2020 it is indeed a significant jump.
Meanwhile, June’s drop in hybrid sales seeped into July, after an upward trend that topped in April at some 7,600 hybrids (fuelled largely by the Toyota Rav4 hybrid) came to a sudden end with just 5,152 sold last month. That said, year-to-date hybrid sales are still 40% higher than the same time in 2020.
To a much lesser extent, plug-in hybrid sales doubled year-to-date, but notably, there are five all-electric cars sold for every PHEV.
How the next few months play out in terms of electric vehicle uptake will be of interest, for two reasons.
Firstly, from September 1 2021, NSW drivers will join Victorian drivers in the ability to access $3,000 in rebates towards the purchase of an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. For a full rundown of various state EV incentives see this article here.
Given the preference being shown for electric vehicles, and at that for the Tesla Model 3 it will also be of interest to see what effect the next wave of models including the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and the Model Y – three of which have just landed in Australia – will have in coming months.
This article has been updated with new sales figures for MG ZS EV.
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 Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.