Sales of electric cars have more than doubled compared to the first half of last year – though one in every two sold remains a Tesla.
Nearly one in every two electric cars sold in Australia in 2022 has been a Tesla Model 3 – amid an electric-vehicle market that’s more than doubled year on year.
VFACTS industry sales data reports 9680 electric vehicles as sold over the first half of 2022 – 4653 of which were Tesla Model 3 sedans, with two-thirds of those sold in March alone, as supply woes bit from April onwards.
Exclude Tesla – as no first-half 2021 sales figures are available, as it began reporting sales to VFACTS this year – and electric vehicle sales are up 127 per cent, from 2217 by the end of June 2021.
While electric vehicles (EVs) still only account for 1.8 per cent of all new vehicles sold, just a handful of electric models have recorded sales declines this year – and a wave of new EVs are around the corner, to grow sales further.
If the brands that don’t currently offer an electric vehicle in Australia are excluded – which include Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, GWM, Mitsubishi and Subaru – electric cars account for 4.0 per cent of new vehicle sales.
Leading the market was the Tesla Model 3 sedan, with 4653 recorded sales so far this year – the majority of which (3097 cars) reached customers in March alone.
However, as reported previously, Tesla sales slowed to a crawl soon after, with only 236 vehicles reported as sold between April and June, due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China though March and April that brought production to a halt.
Deliveries are slated to pick up over the coming months, after a record production month at Tesla’s Shanghai plant in June – and the imminent arrival of the first of Australia’s hotly-anticipated Model Ys, the Model 3’s taller SUV counterpart.
Australia’s second best-selling electric car in 2021, the MG ZS EV, is amid a changeover between old and new models, so reported sales dipped from 711 in the first half of 2021, to 137 in the first half of 2022 (15th place overall).
Instead, following behind the Tesla so far in 2022 is the Hyundai Kona Electric small SUV, which broke its own monthly sales records in January (90) then March (133). Its sales are up 150 per cent compared to the first half of last year (when an updated model was launched).
Kia is on track to sell the 500 to 600 EV6 vehicles allocated for Australia for this year – with 294 reported sales over the first half of 2022 – while the related Hyundai Ioniq 5 recorded 321 sales.
However, as the Kia’s two-year wait times – and Hyundai Australia’s decision to release only about 50 to 100 cars every one or two months, rather than allow a wait list to grow – show, these sales figures are often driven more by supply, rather than pure demand.
The country’s most expensive electric vehicle – the $158,100 to $351,000 Porsche Taycan – was the eighth best-selling electric car, at 307 recorded sales. This is down on the 369 reported as sold this time in 2021, due to a rush of orders filled soon after the car’s launch last February.
At the back of the pack – excluding vehicles that have been discontinued – is the Jaguar I-Pace (10 sales), as well as the Mazda MX-30 (27).
Only four electric vehicles – excluding those in run-out or between models – posted sales declines in 2022 compared to the same period last year: Jaguar I-Pace (66 per cent), Porsche Taycan (17 per cent), Nissan Leaf (5.4 per cent) and Audi E-Tron (2.9 per cent).
Where are the most electric cars sold?
State registration data seen by Drive indicates more electric cars are sold in New South Wales than any other Australian state or territory, accounting for about one third of all electric vehicle sales in Australia.
Victoria follows with about 27 per cent of the national total, with Queensland (20 per cent), Western Australia (eight per cent), South Australia (five per cent), Australian Capital Territory (four per cent), Tasmania (two per cent), and the Northern Territory (0.3 per cent).
But as a portion of all new cars sold in each state, the ACT leads, with just over five per cent of new motor vehicle sales in the territory so far this year being electric.
It may be no coincidence that the ACT is the first Australian jurisdiction to announce a date to prohibit the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles, and switch to electric and hydrogen vehicles. Click here for more details on that announcement.
In Australia’s most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, electric vehicles account for approximately 1.9 and 1.8 per cent of sales respectively.
Tasmania quotes the second-highest uptake of electric vehicles (by percentage), at 2.2 per cent. Following behind is Queensland (1.7 per cent), WA (1.5 per cent), SA (1.3 per cent) and the NT (0.5 per cent).
What new electric vehicles are coming soon?
Buyers shopping for an electric vehicle will have more choice than ever by New Year’s Eve, with the arrival in August of the Tesla Model Y, and the BYD Atto 3 – the cheapest new electric vehicle on sale, if you live outside of New South Wales, Victoria or Western Australia.
BYD’s local importer EVDirect says more than 3500 orders have been placed for the Atto 3, all claimed “delivered comfortably by the end of the year” – which would slot the new model into second (or third, depending on Model Y sales) on the EV sales chart by year’s end.
Aside from this pair, other electric cars coming to Australia before the end of 2022 include: