Tesla Model 3 Was 2nd Best Selling Car (Of Any Kind) In UK In 2021

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Although the passenger car market in the UK as a whole was much lower in 2021 than it was in 2019, EV sales rose dramatically in 2021.

In December 2021, 36,041 new plug-in vehicles were registered (27,705 BEVs), reflecting a 33% increase from December of 2020. Looking at the whole year, the UK achieved 18.6% plugin vehicle market share (11.6% BEV share) in 2021, versus 10.7% market share (6.6% BEV share) in 2020.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) pointed out that 2021 was the most successful year in history for electric vehicle uptake. More new battery electric vehicles were registered in 2021 than over the previous five years combined. Despite this, SMMT CEO Makes Hawes said that 2021 has been “another desperately disappointing year” for the industry and noted that the pandemic, tougher trading arrangements for manufactures, accelerating technology shifts, and the global semiconductor shortage were all “decimating supply.”

“Despite the challenges, the undeniable bright spot is the growth in electric car uptake. … The models are there, with two of every five new car models now able to be plugged in, drivers have the widest choice ever and industry is working hard to overcome COVID-related supply constraints.”

SMMT noted that the UK was the third-largest European market for new car registrations in 2021 and the second-largest by volume for plug-in vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

“It is only in ninth position overall, however, in Europe for BEVs by market share, underlining the progress still to be made, despite the UK having among the most ambitious targets of all major markets with the end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars scheduled for 2030.

“Recent announcements, including cuts to both purchase incentives and grants for home chargers, put the achievement of industry’s and government’s net-zero ambitions at risk. Furthermore, the slow pace of growth in on-street public charging – where, on average, 16 cars potentially share one standard on-street charger – could put the brake on EV demand and undermine the UK’s attractiveness as a place to sell electric cars.”

Gas-powered vehicles, however, are still Britain’s most popular powertrain and accounted for just under 60% of all new cars registered in 202t, SMMT said. In December 2021, The Guardian noted that the increase in November was the first in four months year on year even, though sales were still down compared to pre-Covid levels. Those sales were fueled by a doubling of EV sales due to consumers looking for more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Top Selling EV Models in 2021

Perhaps most notable of all, the Tesla Model 3 actually became the second best selling vehicle (of any type of powertrain) in the UK in 2021. It was only beaten by the Vauxhall Corsa.

The SMMT listed the top 10 EVs for 2021 for the first time ever as well. The Tesla Model 3 was the top seller, followed by the Kia Niro EV and the Volkswagen ID.3. The top 10 were as follows:

  • Tesla Model 3 — 34,783
  • Kia Niro EV — 12,271
  • Volkswagen ID.3 — 11,032
  • Nissan LEAF — 9,052
  • Audi E-tron — 7,396
  • Hyundai Kona Electric — 7,199
  • MINI Cooper SE — 6,615
  • Renault ZOE — 5,778
  • Vauxhall Corsa-e — 5,605
  • MG ZS EV — 5,380

When will an electric vehicle become the best selling vehicle in the UK? In 2022 perhaps?

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider