An eager collective of Tesla fans reckon the company has now passed the 500 sales mark in Australia, nearly a year since the electric vehicle brand made its official debut here.
This may be the closest that onlookers will come to a clear picture of Tesla’s growth in Australia, with the company famous for withholding sales data for specific regions.
In April, Tesla announced that it had passed a major global milestone: more than 10,000 sales in a quarter, moving 10,030 Model S sedans between January and March.
Obtaining data for for an individual market has proven tricky, however.
In Australia, most carmakers make sales figures available through VFACTS, a monthly record published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, but a small number of brands choose not to disclose such data.
Tesla is among those few, and as a new carmaker with a rapidly growing brand presence, the mystery surrounding its performance in Australia – usually described by its communications team with various synonyms for “good” – continues to both frustrate and captivate enthusiasts.
That secrecy hasn’t stopped keen ‘Teslaspotters’ from working on a list of every Model S to hit Australian shores, though, with owners and fans sharing photos of spied cars and scouring public registration records for state-by-state numbers.
According to one owner who spoke with CarAdvice this week, the group’s latest figures show 545 Model S sedans getting around in Australia.
Some 316 of those have been spotted on the road, with the remaining numbers confirmed through social media posts and the basic data made available on state government websites.
“For example, if (Vic) AEW004 and AEW008 are spotted, we check all the other plates in that range,” our contact said.
“This yields most of the additional numbers over the 316 that have been sighted.”
The bulk of the recorded Model S registrations are based in New South Wales, with Australia’s most populous state accounting for 264 vehicles, while Victoria follows with 167.
Queensland claims 58 Model S registrations, followed by WA with 20, SA with 17, ACT with 11, Tasmania with seven and NT with just one owner.
If accurate, the data positions the Model S neatly in the large premium car market, although established rivals like the BMW 5 Series (889 year-to-date), and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1037) remain clear leaders in the segment.
Earlier this year, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the brand’s growth in Australia has been “surprisingly good”.
“I’ve been pretty happy with our progress there,” Musk said.
“It seems that Australians really do like the Model S quite a bit, and as a result we’re putting a significant investment in Superchargers in Australia so people can get the super-fast charging capability.”