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Onto the grid: Australians have bought five times as many electric cars this year than last thanks mostly to Tesla

About 50,000 new electric cars have been delivered this year so far, which is already more than all of 2022's tally.

The rising interest in Australian electric cars has been gradual, but the trend seems to have picked up significantly in 2023, with local new electric car sales having already surpassed last year’s total in less than half a year.

Through the entirety of 2022, a total of 33,410 new EVs were delivered in Australia, with the majority being Tesla Model 3s (10,877) and Model Ys (8717) that tallied 19,594 units.

This year to the end of July, not only has the nation’s total EV sales surpassed last year’s count already, even Tesla’s sales alone have almost done the same.

So far in 2023, Australians have had 49,938 new electric vehicles delivered, almost catching up to the total 52,375 hybrid and plug-in hybrids sold over the same time.

Even if July’s 6846 electric cars delivered were representative of the rest of the year - though it was much lower than June’s 11,042 - more than 34,000 more EVs should be expected. It could be as many as another 50,000 if things continue to pick up.

If there wasn’t already enough proof that the introduction of a comparatively affordable SUV is a surefire way to boost a company’s sales figures, the Tesla Model Y has well and truly overtaken the Model 3 sedan to assert a convincing sales dominance.

A total 17,332 Model Ys have been sold over the course of 2023, more than 5000 ahead of the Model 3 and its 12,179 for the same time. Tesla’s sales this year so far total 29,511, which is almost as many as the entire nation’s EV sales in 2022.

Somewhat behind the two models from Tesla but well ahead of the EV curve is the BYD Atto 3, which makes up 7201 of those near-50,000 new EVs delivered this year so far.

However, a mid-year report by the Electric Vehicle Council on the state of EVs in Australia notes concern that the uptick in electric car sales is thanks to those three models and isn’t an overall widespread increase in electric car uptake.

“While this trend is encouraging, it is important to note that the vast majority of EV sales is made up of only three models (Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model 3, BYD Atto 3), representing over 68 per cent of the EV market,” the report says.

The EV Council said a “New Vehicle Efficiency Standard” submitted to the government could help to improve the uptake of electric cars by rewarding automotive brands that “supply greater volumes of low and zero-emission vehicles to Australia and penalise those that do not”.