The true number of new electric vehicles sold in Australia in 2020 can finally be revealed after national registration data for Tesla is added to figures supplied by the rest of the automotive industry.
Last week, official figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) revealed just 1769 electric cars were reported as sold last year, representing 0.2 per cent of total demand for new motor vehicles.
As reported at the time, this figure for electric car sales did not include Tesla because the US start-up chooses not to disclose its monthly or annual delivery data in Australia.
However, national registration data obtained by CarAdvice has revealed Tesla sold a record 3430 electric cars in Australia in 2020, a 16.3 per cent increase compared to 2950 Tesla cars registered in 2019. The data also shows 1005 Tesla cars were registered in 2018.
Over the past two years Tesla has sold almost twice as many electric cars in Australia compared to all other electric vehicles combined.
With Tesla registration data added, it means electric cars accounted for 0.56 per cent of all new motor vehicles sold in Australia in 2020 – not 0.2 per cent as reported by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.
The website carsales.com.au previously revealed Tesla had shipped 3793 vehicles to Australia in 2019 and that more than 7000 Tesla cars were on local roads at the time. Recent registration data appears to show some of the vehicles shipped in 2019 were registered in 2020.
According to national registration data obtained by CarAdvice there are now 9588 Tesla cars registered on Australian roads from the first model introduced in 2012 to the end of December 2020.
This makes Tesla by far the biggest-selling electric car brand in Australia.
However, as impressive as Tesla’s 16.3 per cent surge in sales was in 2020 – in a market that slumped by 13.7 per cent – the local result is less than the company’s global growth trend.
Tesla sales globally increased by 36 per cent in 2020 compared to the prior year, to just shy of 500,000 vehicles.
Based on this trajectory, Tesla could have sold just over 4000 cars in Australia in 2020. However, supply constraints and shipping delays are understood to have blunted the brand’s growth locally.
Tesla Australia declined to comment on the registration data obtained by CarAdvice. Below is a list of Tesla's global sales since the brand's inception.
|Year||Tesla global sales, change from prior year||Vehicles produced|
|2020||499,550, up 36 per cent||Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y|
|2019||367,500, up 50 per cent||Model S, Model X, Model 3|
|2018||245,240, up 138 per cent||Model S, Model X, Model 3|
|2017||103,120, up 35 per cent||Model S, Model X, Model 3|
|2016||76,230, up 51 per cent||Model S, Model X|
|2015||50,557, up 60 per cent||Model S|
|2014||31,655, up 41 per cent||Model S|
|2013||22,477, up 625 per cent||Model S|
|2012||3100||Model S, Roadster (2008 to 2012)|