US company’s Model 3 makes up almost two-thirds of electric cars sold in Australia in 2021, as EV market share grows to 2.39%

The number of new electric vehicles in Australia has tripled after years of lagging sales, off the back of incentives introduced by state governments to support their uptake.

Australia recorded 24,078 EV sales in 2021, a significant increase from the 6,900 sold in 2020, which means electric cars now make up 2.39% of the new car market.

The Tesla Model 3 was the bestselling electric car in Australia, with 15,054 vehicles sold last year – accounting for 62.5% of all EVs sold. It was followed by the MG ZS with 1,388 and the Mitsubishi Outlander with 592.

The sales figures now include the number of cars sold by Tesla in Australia after a deal was struck between the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) and the US company.

In previous years Tesla refused to release a breakdown of figures by region, instead releasing only total global sales figures. The company delivered 936,172 electric cars worldwide in 2021.

In the past, industry bodies that monitor changes in the car market have been forced to make informed estimates, but Tesla’s regional breakdown reveals the number of electric vehicles on Australian roads.

The EVC chief executive, Behyad Jafari, said the sales figures represent a milestone in a market where EV sales have lagged for years because of mixed signals from government, especially compared with other parts of the world.

“We’ve been waiting for quite a few years to hit the 1% mark, so to skip that and go straight to 2% is a big deal,” Jafari said.

He said the boost can be attributed the mix of supportive policies introduced by individual states and territories designed to support uptake, including stamp duty waivers and rebates.

Though there had been solid growth in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, with market share hovering around the national average, the Australian Capital Territory – which is widely considered to have introduced the most generous policies in the country – has consistently outperformed every other jurisdiction with a market share of 5.87%,

Even with the positive numbers, Jafari said there is still more that could be done provided there is federal government support.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up to 20% already,” Jafari said. “We have a federal government talking about hitting those targets by 2030 when really we could be there today. It’s just a matter of them doing their jobs.”

Even at 2.39% of the market, electric vehicle sales in Australia lag behind other countries.

Electric vehicles make up 11.2% of the market in western Europe, according to data from Schmidt Automotive Research, with registrations for battery electric vehicles surpassing those for diesel for the first time in December last year.

Though the US is also considered to be behind the curve, , electric cars account for roughly 3% of the new car market – still greater than in Australia

But with demand in the US and other countries expected to take off in 2022, Australian companies in the supply chain are already looking overseas for opportunities.

Brisbane-based company Tritium, a manufacturer of electric vehicle fast charging systems, is expected to announce the site of its new US factory in coming weeks, with plans for it to be operational by September.

The company’s share price closed at US$7.74 on Wednesday after it successfully listed on the Nasdaq this week, earning the company’s longtime backer Trevor St Baker A$344.7m for his 31.5m shares.

Its Brisbane facility is currently able to manufacture 5,000 units a year and the new factory would triple the company’s capacity without the need to ship material overseas.

With plans to expand into Europe, Tritium could quickly position itself as one of the world’s largest makers of fast charging systems.

Extracted in full from: New electric vehicle sales triple in Australia with Tesla outstripping other makers | Electric vehicles | The Guardian