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Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth | CleanTechnica.


Tesla Dominates January EV Deliveries in Australia

Large numbers of Tesla Model 3 electric cars were delivered in January 2023 in Australia, making it the best-selling sedan in Australia and the third best-selling vehicle in the country behind the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux!

January may be an anomaly, as 4600 Tesla Model 3s were held up at the ports due to logistical issues. Some of these are still being delivered.

Tesla dominates

Tesla deliveries delayed by logistics issues. Used by permission.

On the other hand, only 386 Model Ys were delivered in January.

“Tesla placed 16th outright on the Australian new-car sales charts — up from 19th in 2021 — beating established marques such as Audi, Honda, Volvo and Renault,” Drive writes.

“The record result comes after Tesla ramped up production at its Shanghai factory — which builds cars for Australia — in the second half of the year, following slowdowns due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China in early to mid 2022.”

February numbers should be more of an indicator as to what Tesla can deliver in a “normal” month. According to Veda Prime, the Model Y Performance will be coming to all states at once during February. There are many ships on the way. He tells me that Tesla Shanghai began building Australian and New Zealand orders on January 17th.  These should be well and truly delivered by the end of the first quarter.

And the BYD Atto 3 is becoming the school mum’s pickup wagon. I have spotted two in school carparks this past week as I have picked up my grandchildren from school.

Tesla Dominates

BYDs have become the EV of choice for school pickups. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Tesla sold almost 3000 Model 3s in January, according to the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries. EVs accounted for nearly 20% of all new passenger vehicle sales. Ford sold almost 5000 Ranger utes and Toyota sold over 4000 Hi-Lux utes.

It is sad that in this era of greater climate crisis awareness that fossil fuelled cars are still top of the charts. But electric utes are coming and we may see a big change in the next 12 months. Some are expecting EVs to hit 10% penetration by the end of the year. The 4th quarter of 2022 was close, at 8%.

“Australia’s automotive industry delivered 84,873 vehicles during the first month of 2023, which represents a 11.9 per cent increase on the same period in 2022.”

“This data is the best January result since 2018 and shows that the industry is continuing to recover following years of supply chain disruption and delay,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

Toyota still leads the field in passenger vehicle sales, for now. Many in the EV community celebrated the fact that Tesla’s Model 3 outsold the Toyota Camry. BYD sold 267 Atto 3s. Unfortunately, MG does not give out figures for its MG ZS EV variant, but over the past 4 months, BYD and MG have been battling it out for second place in the EV adoption race. This is a race that will get even more heated in 2023 as MG brings out the MG4 and BYD introduces the Dolphin and the Seal to a thirsty Australian market.

Tesla dominates

BYD Atto 3 amongst the SUVs at school pickup. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

The Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge scored in three figures. The “others” category was made up of the BMW iX, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia EV6, Nissan LEAF, and Hyundai Ioniq 5 — for a total of almost 300 cars. All of these are worthy vehicles — the problem, especially for Kia and Hyundai, is lack of supply. A small “drop” of Ioniq 5s will sell out in less than 30 minutes. One of the reasons Tesla dominates is that it is supplying large numbers of vehicles.

The penetration of EVs into the Australian new vehicle market now sits at approximately 6%. This is almost triple January 2022’s figure. Tesla accounted for two thirds of these sales. In a sign that the time of EVs is upon us, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper, The Weekend Australian, published a 14-page insert today lauding EVs as the way of the future. It was obviously paid for by the lavish advertisements from Audi (several full pages) and it managed to avoid mentioning Tesla. But it is still a massive step forward for conservative media, which has spent the last ten years spreading FUD.

Six percent has been identified as the inflection point, where the S curve of adoption heads for the vertical. Although Tesla has done the heavy lifting, just like mature markets in Europe, many more makes and models are entering the Australian market, and that is a good thing — solving the issue of choice and brand loyalty.

As well as the BYDs mentioned above, Volkswagen Group intends to launch the ID.3 and Cupra Born in 2023. It already has 2,000 pre-orders for the Cupra Born. Great Wall’s subsidiary Ora has announced that it will release the Cat series in Australia as well. Meanwhile, LDV is touring the eastern states with its first electric ute. It’s all happening. If my readers are aware of other vehicles expected to arrive Down Under, I would be happy to be advised.

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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